AARP Survey Highlights Support for Legislative Priorities

Mar 23, 2011, 12:54 ET from AARP Illinois

Statewide Survey Reveals Concerns of 50+ Illinoisans; AARP Urges Lawmakers to Take Action

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the legislative session in full swing, AARP is pressing lawmakers to take action on issues that are critically important to older adults in Illinois.  A recent AARP member survey revealed strong support for AARP Illinois' legislative priorities.

"Our survey findings cite serious concerns among older adults across the state while confirming widespread support for AARP's legislative priorities," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director.  "AARP is committed to advocating on behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members and we are urging lawmakers to take notice and take action on the issues that are most important to older adults in Illinois."

The AARP survey revealed that health and financial security are critically important for older adults in Illinois.  Over 80% of members feel that access to affordable health care coverage is very important – and more than 40% say they or someone they know have gone without health care coverage in the past year.  That is why AARP is supporting legislation (House Bill 1501) that would allow the Illinois Department of Insurance to review health insurance rate increases – helping to create a more transparent and cost-effective health care system in Illinois.

Over one-third of AARP members in Illinois cite financial issues as a major challenge.  AARP is supporting legislation (House Bill 96 and Senate Bill 144) that would repeal a discriminatory law that unfairly reduces unemployment compensation for older workers.  AARP is also strongly opposing legislation (House Bill 14) that would result in automatic annual utility rate increases for Illinois consumers.  Over 50% of members say they have a major or minor problem paying for their monthly household utilities.

AARP is also strongly opposed to state budget cuts that would eliminate home and community based services for older adults, forcing them into more costly institutional settings.  AARP is fighting to rebalance the long term care system to favor home and community based services over institutional care – a concept that over 80% of Illinois members support.

"Over 70% of our members in Illinois have no confidence that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for their own generation," said Gallo. "We are fighting to change that statistic and ensure a better life for current and future generations."

To view the complete survey results, visit