[Editors note — this is a continuation of 12-part feature by The Wall Street Journal profiling “pioneers who are shaping the way Americans will live, work and play in later life.”]
Number Ten — Advocate for the Aging
John Rother, AARP’s policy director, is ultimately responsible for everything that the largest membership group for older Americans advocates at the state and national levels. He is constantly in motion, making about 80 speeches a year around the world and lobbying lawmakers nationwide.
“I’ve got the best job in Washington,” says Mr. Rother, 60, who joined AARP in 1984 after serving as staff director and chief counsel to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Health care is his primary focus today. “It’s too expensive, and we aren’t getting our money’s worth,” he says. Fixing it “is going to take everything we know how to do — prevention, better management of chronic care, improving quality, being smarter purchasers as the government and individuals.”
In recent years, Mr. Rother has played a role in helping to pass — or block — some of the most significant legislation in Congress: the Medicare prescription-drug benefit (not “everything we had hoped it would be, but…certainly better than nothing”); Social Security privatization; and the national do-not-call registry.
— By Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal
Tomorrow — Urban Planner.