WASHINGTON—AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement on the Senate passage of the bipartisan 2023 omnibus bill. Earlier this month, AARP sent a letter to Congressional Leadership urging them to include important priorities for those age 50+ in any year-end legislative package.
“Older Americans, like Americans of all ages, want elected officials to work together to ensure their health and financial security. AARP is pleased that the bipartisan government funding bill addresses important priorities for Americans age 50-plus including increasing Social Security Administration funding, making it easier to save for retirement and extending critical Medicare benefits.
“Funding for the Social Security Administration has steadily eroded over the past decade, while the number of people it serves has grown. This has resulted in longer wait times, overwhelmed field offices and disability processing times that have skyrocketed to an all-time high. The higher funding included in this legislation is a needed step to begin to address this customer service crisis, but more must be done. AARP will continue to push Congress and the Social Security Administration to provide the high-quality customer service people need and deserve.
“While Social Security is the bedrock of income for retired Americans, individuals want and need additional retirement income. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (Secure 2.0), included in this package, will enhance the Savers tax credit to provide a matching contribution to low and moderate income retirement savers, require employers to automatically enroll employees in new retirement plans and provide plan coverage for more of the country’s 27 million part-time workers. Further, it will require that plans provide an annual paper statement of benefits to participants and create a national Lost and Found database to help workers more easily keep track of their pensions from former employers.
“The package extends several pandemic era provisions for people on Medicare, including greater flexibility to use telehealth services and the ability for some people to receive hospital care in their homes. Medicare will also expand the number and type of providers who can be reimbursed for mental health services beginning in 2024. Critical Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories is also included. These provisions will help many older adults access the medical care they need.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit aarp.org and aarp.org/espanol, or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.