The AARP brought it’s “Divided We Fail” campaign to Houston. The group is holding listening sessions around the state to learn how people are coping with healthcare costs. People are also talking about planning for retirement. Houston Public Radio’s Capella Tucker reports.
Healthcare and financial security are the two topics AARP is focusing on and looking for feedback from the public. Spokesperson Rosie Barrera says it’s a non-partisan efforts that also involves business groups and unions. Barrera says the issues of healthcare and finances go hand in hand.
“What happens when you are unemployed, when you have to take early retirement, when you’re dismissed or laid off when you are 61. What do you do for insurance until you are 65? Also what happens when their children or grandchildren don’t have insurance.”
Barrera says a number of peole have talked about a need for different types of insurance, such as affordable gap insurance to cover time between jobs.
Paulette Simmons is a volunteer with the Senior Campanion Prorgram which helps keep people in their homes instead of going to a nursing home. But Simmons has had her own challenges. She says there’s too much confusion about what’s paid for and what isn’t.
“At first they say they’ve changed over and they have all these programs that you are supposed to join and Medicare is going to do this and Medicare is going to do that. And then suddenly Medicare says they are not going to pay for medications anymore.”
Simmons says she got a one day notice that her medicines were no longer going to be covered. CJ Ellis focused his comments to the group on issues with Social Security and disability. While Ellis is frustrated with his own struggles, he’s still optimistic with the presidential candidates and their discussions of the issues.
“We’re fortunate this time to have on both sides of the isle responsible candidates that will look at the issues and try I hope in a bipartisan way to explore a way that this situation can be handled.”
AARP held a number of events throughout Texas. More information can be found at KUHF.org. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.