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AARP at the State Capitol: Advocating for You

During the 2010 Legislative Session, AARP is working on several  key state issues that affect older Minnesotans and their families: 

First and foremost, AARP is urging Governor Pawlenty and state lawmakers to seek common ground and find a balanced solution to the state’s on-going budget deficit that does not adversely impact vulnerable Minnesotans.

The budget will be the main focus of the session.  Due to a larger-than-expected drop in income tax revenue this quarter, a $1.2 billion deficit has opened up in the current biennial budget (FY 2010-11).  Economists project a long, slow economic recovery, and state leaders will be grappling with a $6.6 billion deficit in the next state biennial budget (FY 2012-13).

In today’s economy, older Minnesotans are at greater risk for health and financial suffering, and are more likely to need critical services in order to live.  AARP strongly believes that health and human services and the people that use these programs – including long-term care services (nursing homes and home and community based services) -- should not take a disproportionate share of cuts, and options for raising revenue should be on the table for discussion.

Additionally, AARP is encouraging lawmakers and the Pawlenty Administration to find common ground to restore funding for the General Assistance Medical Care Program (GAMC) so that the people served by this program are able to continue to access quality medical care that meets their needs. This program provided health care for extremely low-income adults without dependent children.

Prescription drug issues will also be debated this session.  As a member of the Minnesota Prescription Coalition (MPC), AARP is urging the passage of three bills that will increase quality in prescribing of drugs and devices; reduce conflicts of interest -- and ultimately reduce prescription drug costs for all consumers. 

  • Pharmaceutical Data Mining - SF 1044 (Doll) /HF 491 (Liebling) will prohibit pharmaceutical companies from buying doctors’ prescribing records and using the information to target their marketing to individual doctors.
  • MN Academic Detailing Program  - SF 895 (Sheran) /HF 1640 (Liebling) establishes an “academic detailing” program to give physicians nonbiased information to make the best and most cost-effective decisions about prescriptions.
  • Pharmaceutical Gift Ban Enhancements - SF 1237 (Marty) /HF 1641 (Liebling) improves Minnesota’s transparency and reporting laws to more clearly define relationships between health care providers and pharmaceutical companies.

Join us on these important issues.  Volunteers working with AARP at the State Capitol help us advocate for these important issues. 

How have these issues affected your life? Drop us a note at aarpmn@aarp.org.

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