AARP is proud to represent and serve 380,059 AARP members age 50+ in the state.
For 50 years, AARP has had one mission: making life better for older Americans. AARP was created after its founder discovered a retired teacher in poor health living in a chicken coop, unable to afford medical care and with barely enough money to live on. Since then, AARP has been fighting for health and financial security for all Americans.
In 2010, AARP Iowa will be working with legislators from both parties to protect lifeline programs that provide seniors with food, health care and other necessities from deep budget cuts. We will also be working to strengthen state laws to prevent banks and credit card companies from taking advantage of older Americans and to protect consumers from unfair utility hikes.
Age 50+ voters: 72 percent of Iowans age 50+ voted in the 2008 election, sending a clear message that it’s time for elected officials from both sides of the aisle to come together to solve our nation’s problems.
AARP: Working To Improve the Lives of All Iowans
Strengthening Social Security: We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:
- Providing relief for 526,955 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.
Protecting Medicare: We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 504,944 Iowans who receive their health care through Medicare.
Improving Health Care: We are fighting to stop insurance abuses and protect the Medicare benefits seniors have earned by:
- Lowering drug costs for 251,914 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
- Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 52,000 Iowans age 50-64 based on age or pre-existing condition.
- Expanding access to home and community-based services through Medicaid – the largest payer of long-term services and supports – which, in 2007, spent only 14 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 86 percent on institutional care for the same population.
Supporting Caregivers: AARP is fighting to ensure more Americans can receive the services they need to live independently in their homes and communities by:
- Valuing and supporting the 450,000 family caregivers in Iowa – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $3,400,000,000.
Promoting Retirement Savings: We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:
- Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 745,300 Iowans who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.
AARP: Fighting for Iowa
More than 62,000 AARP activists in are working to engage federal and state elected officials in legislating on issues of greatest importance to Iowans age 50+. Members of AARP’s Grassroots Elections and Advocacy Team (GREAT) are represented in all congressional districts. These dedicated volunteers, through education and communication forums such as Tele-town halls, newsletters, emails, volunteer trainings, issue forums, and AARP publications, mobilize Iowans’ support for passage of critical legislation.
AARP has been instrumental in achieving bi-partisan state legislative action to enact significant health care reform, children’s coverage expansions, increased access to quality health care, and health information technology during the 2008-2009 legislative sessions. In 2009, AARP secured state legislative passage of a Consumer Private Right of Action, which gives consumers the right to take action against consumer fraud. held the dubious distinction for 10 years as the only state in the country that did not allow individual consumers to seek damages or injunctive relief when they had been victims of consumer fraud. Iowans now have an avenue of relief when they are victims of fraudulent auto dealers, dishonest home improvement contractors, and other instances where consumers are vulnerable to fraud.
Iowa was one of the first states in the country to adopt so called state “Pay for Performance” system to improve incentive Medicaid payments for quality care in nursing homes. In 2009, AARP Iowa staff and volunteers worked successfully with the nursing home industry, care providers, and other stakeholders on measures to improve the quality of long-term care staff, to reduce staff turnover, and to integrate Quality Improvements Measures where consensus research shows a direct correlation to quality.
AARP also worked to advance greater financial literacy for students with passage of legislation in 2008 requiring schools to include financial literacy as part of their new model core curriculum.
AARP Contact Information
Iowa: Bruce Koeppl, Senior State Director; BKoeppl@aarp.org; (515) 697-1001
Washington, DC: Kristin Keckeisen, Senior Legislative Representative; KKeckeisen@aarp.org; (202) 434-3767
Strengthening Social Security: Social Security Administration, 2007. OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County.
Protecting Medicare: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008. State Health Facts. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/
Improving Health Care: Doughnut hole: AARP (PPI) Fact Sheet, 2009. “Closing the ‘Doughnut Hole’ Will Help Protect Over One-Third of Medicare Beneficiaries from High Drug Costs”
Improving Health Care: Uninsured 50-64: Census Bureau. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007 through 2009
Improving Health Care: Home and Community-Based Services: AARP PPI, 2009. Across the States: Profiles of Long-term Care and Independent Living.
Supporting Caregivers: AARP PPI, 2008. Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Caregiving, 2008 Update.
Promoting Retirement Savings: Based on data from the US Census, State and Patterns & Current Populations Survey statistics on Pension Coverage. 2004.