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North Dakota State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 83,391 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 North Dakota 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:  83 percent of North Dakotans 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

Strengthening Social Security:  We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:

  • Providing relief for 109,681 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 106,005 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 57,465 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 13,000 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 5 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 95 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 83,000 family caregivers in – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $580,000,000.   

Promoting Retirement Savings:  We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 160,900 who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for North Dakota

AARP North Dakota has engaged 11,965 e-activists who can be called upon to champion our legislative priorities – including health care, financial security, and long-term care – to federal and state elected officials.  Members of our Executive Council and Government Affairs Committee are located in various regions of the state and serve as a direct line of communication with our congressional delegation and state legislators on key committees.

In 2009, AARP continued its advocacy for meaningful health care reform through information and education sessions, including regular participation in Congressional town halls and other forums to advance member and public understanding and engagement.

AARP North Dakota also teamed up with Prairie Public Broadcasting to cosponsor a panel discussion on health care reform featuring Senator Kent Conrad and representatives of national and state organizations interested in the issue.

We influenced the 2009 legislative session with our advocacy, resulting in a number of enhancements to services for seniors and people with disabilities, especially in the areas of transportation and home and community-based services.

AARP North Dakota uses various print and electronic communication vehicles, earned and paid media, the state web page, and a periodic Capitol News’ publication to keep volunteers and members engaged in our issues and priorities.  We are currently compiling a list of members interested in receiving regular recorded messages with updates on our priority issues and activities.  And we are expanding our electronic media presence through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

AARP Contact Information

North Dakota:  Janis Cheney, Sr. State Director, JSCheney@aarp.org; (701) 355-3641
Washington, DC:  Kristin Keckeisen, Sr. Legislative Representative, KKeckeisen@aarp.org; (202) 434-3767

References

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.

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