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AARP Supports Emergency Relief for Older Americans

February 22, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The economic downturn has hit seniors especially hard, but help for older Kentuckians may be on the way - if Congress takes action. For the first time since the automatic Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, began in 1975, seniors may not receive an increase in 2010. That's why AARP Kentucky president Nelda Barnett is urging members of Kentucky's congressional delegation to act quickly and deliver relief to seniors.

"I am working hard to try to let our seniors know, and our congressmen and senators know, the impact of no COLA."

AARP is calling on Congress to provide seniors with $250 in relief to make up for the lack of a cost of living adjustment this year.

Barnett says the assistance will help struggling seniors with necessities.

"We've got all the things that deal with health care, the rising cost of insurance, the rising costs of the drugs, and various other things that really reach into the pockets of the seniors."

AARP is working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to urge quick passage of legislation that will help combat increasing health care and prescription drug costs.

"We would hope it would be a very quick thing, because first of the year everything has a tendency to go up, and these seniors are trying to reach down and find the money to cover the extra costs that are facing them."

According to AARP, seniors spend a disproportionate share of their income, about 30 per cent, on health care costs.

Bill Goodman, Public News Service - KY