RALEIGH, NC — Throughout 2023, AARP advocates in North Carolina helped push for improvements and funding that will help protect the health, wealth, and personal well-being of the state’s growing population of older adults. These improvements are critical when it comes to meeting the needs of older adults, who will soon outnumber residents in the state ages 18 and younger.
In addition to the many members of the General Assembly who have worked with AARP on public policy improvements this year and in the past, AARP is especially appreciative of bill sponsors and legislative champions such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Perry, Senate Health Care Committee co-chair Sen. Joyce Kraweic, and Commitee Members Senators Amy Galey and Brad Overcash.
AARP Manager of Advocacy and Livable Communities Lisa Riegel said, “As far as bread and butter, key consumer protections enacted into law this year include outlawing predatory real estate agreements, updating our state’s guardianship laws, and providing long overdue increases to the personal needs allowance given to nursing home residents to help pay for items like toothpaste, postage stamps, and snacks.”
In addition, through state regulators, AARP also played a role in helping scale back unfair home and auto insurance rate hikes.
When it comes to health, most significantly, AARP advocates worked with others who called for the expansion of Medicaid, where through federal support, will give around 600,000 North Carolinians access to the health care they need and will help rural hospitals continue to provide care to people who live outside of our urban centers.
AARP also helped push for added funding to
help secure our direct care workforce, in particular, nurses who work in long-term care and private care settings. AARP also urged members for the funding that was provided to expand internet access and enable telehealth in underserved areas of the state.
To help people stay fit and active, additional funding was given to NC Senior Games and to improve our state’s trails and greenways.
Looking ahead to 2024, AARP will be instrumental in helping the state better meet the needs of an aging population where in a few short years, there will be more older adults than young. Through a Governor’s Executive Order issued in May, North Carolina joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and began its work on a Master Aging Plan “All Ages, All Stages NC” that will help coordinate and prioritize important infrastructure and policy improvements within all state agencies to better meet the needs of the North Carolina’s rapidly growing population of older adults.
With state and federal elections also on this year’s horizon, AARP will also be providing information to voters to ensure that they have the information they need to cast their ballots and know where the candidates stand on important state and federal issues.
AARP North Carolina President Helen Mack of Clemmons, who attended a “Conversation with Congress on the Future of Social Security,” in Washington, DC, in September said, “AARP will be urging Congress to act on securing Social Security, where if nothing is done within the next ten years, people will receive a 20 percent cut in the money they’ve earned from paying into the program throughout their working years.”
If you have a passion for helping others through advocacy, join our growing network of AARP Advocacy volunteers where you can get involved in the local, state or national level. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for AARP Action Alerts.
This story is provided by AARP North Carolina. Visit the AARP North Carolina page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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