Advocating for more affordable, accessible and quality health and long-term care, and financial security for older Iowans are key areas of focus for AARP during the 2011 Iowa Legislative session.
AARP’s work will build on the association’s advocacy during the 2010 session, focusing on five key areas:
- Protecting and improving the quality of Iowa’s long-term care, including preserving funding for home and community based long term services in Iowa’s Senior Living Program, and to support Iowa’s Direct Care workforce
- Enhancing transparency in government, health care and financial services
- Helping Iowa’s consumers find affordable and adequate health care insurance coverage
- Advocating for improved consumer protections for the financial security of all Iowans, including safeguarding pensions and financial abuse protection for older Iowans
- Supporting livable communities efforts, including transportation and housing options
Specific legislation AARP state staff and volunteers will be focusing on includes ensuring that regulations are in place to protect residents affected by assisted living decertification; fully funding Iowa’s unmet needs in Iowa’s Senior Living Program; and improving access to health care for Iowans through creation of a consumer-friendly state Health Care Benefits Exchange.
“In this tough economic climate, AARP will be working to ensure that Iowa’s human needs continue to be met,” said Anthony Carroll, Iowa Associate State Director for Advocacy. “Surveys show members are increasingly concerned about availability of long-term care services to allow Iowans to age in place in their homes and in their communities, rather than more expensive institutional care. We need to continue to support options for home and community-based services that meet the needs of Iowans now and in the future, and save the state millions of dollars in avoided Medicaid costs of institutional care.”
AARP state legislative priorities are set annually consistent with national policies approved by the association’s Board of Directors. Priorities are based on the needs of Iowa residents as expressed in member surveys, and information and feedback gathered at AARP-sponsored forums and events throughout the year.
For more information about AARP Iowa’s priorities or to learn more about supporting AARP’s efforts during the legislative session, call the AARP Iowa State Office toll-free at 1-866-554-5378 for Anthony Carroll or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.