No caps AARP and the nonprofit group
Disability Rights Wisconsin are urging
Gov. Scott Walker, R, and legislators to lift
enrollment caps from Family Care, a state
program that provides home-delivered
meals, in-home care, transportation and
other services that help people continue to
live independently. Family Care serves about
35,000 people in 57 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Expansion into the remaining 15 counties and increasing enrollment in existing
counties, however, have been put on hold.
; “The governor has said he is considering
lifting the caps—if the case can be made that
doing so would save the state money in the
long run,” said Helen Marks Dicks, AARP
state advocacy director. ; A recent report
from the Legislative Audit Bureau found
Family Care’s services are less expensive
than nursing home care. To ask the governor
to remove the caps, call 1-800-844-2847.
Good choices AARP is urging Ohio
lawmakers to create a health insurance
exchange to expand choices and contain
costs for consumers and small businesses.
; Under the health care law, if a state does
not create an exchange, the federal government will administer one on its behalf. The
purpose is to encourage health insurance
providers to compete and offer high-quality
plans at the best price, while ensuring a basic
level of coverage. ; The voters’ 2-1 rejection
of the health insurance mandate last month
means supporters “need to be more vigilant”
against insurance industry opposition, said
Ron Bridges, AARP state advocacy director. “A competitive health care marketplace
in Ohio will give consumers more choices,
better quality and greater control.” For more
information, go to aarp.org/oh.
Talking together On the heels of its first
multilingual conversation on health care reform, AARP Michigan is inviting members in
multicultural neighborhoods across the state
to request similar events. ; The November
meeting, conducted in English with Spanish and Arabic translators, focused on how
changes under the national health care law
affect state residents. Participants had the
opportunity to ask an expert questions about
the new law. ; “It’s hard for anyone to keep
up with changes in U.S. health care policy,”
said Andrew Farmer of AARP Michigan.
“How much harder it must be if English
is not your first language.” ; To request a
multilingual meeting in your community
on issues that affect people age 50-plus, call
AARP at 1-866-227-7448 toll-free.
Better living Des Moines is the third U.S.
city to join the World Health Organization’s
Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities—
following New York City in 2010 and Portland,
Ore., earlier this year. ; AARP Iowa serves
on the Des Moines project’s executive committee and is asking members to help pri-oritize goals. Some of the issues the city may
tackle to become more age-friendly include
transportation, health care and affordable
housing. ; “After Des Moines carries out
its plan over the next five years, we hope to
share what we’ve learned with other Iowa
cities,” said Kent Sovern, AARP state director. For details, go to aarp.org/ia.
Get involved With the 2012 legislative session on the horizon, AARP Illinois
will be fighting for improved access to
health care, more choices in long-term
care, fairer utility rates and stronger
consumer protections. ; To help achieve
these goals, AARP is asking members to
get involved in advocacy and community
outreach. Volunteers will discuss issues
with legislators in Springfield and district
offices, attend public hearings and other
events, and write letters to the editors of
their local papers. ; For more information, call 1-866-448-3613 toll-free.
—Reports by Will Yandik
For other state news, go to
The estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour for
each state, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands for 2009.
Value of Volunteers
* VALUE IS BASED
ON THE AVERAGE
WAGE OF NON-MANAGEMEN T,
SUCH AS DOCTORS
OR LAW YERS.