29 Nov The Infrastructure Bill: Giving Americans a Leg Up
Former Minnesota Senator Al Franken called it “giving us a leg up”. Franken was lucky; his family had enough money to send him to Harvard. His wife Franni’s family was less affluent. Yet each sibling was able to attend college, thanks to a variety of programs, including scholarships and grants, including Pell Grants. Once all of the kids graduated from college, it was Franni’s mom’s turn. She took advantage of those same opportunities to go back to school and get her own degree. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a “leg up” for working families and older Americans. It smooths the rough edges, helping improve the quality of life for those who are working hard and doing everything right but can’t get ahead.
Important implications for older Americans
This legislation means that working Americans, for the first time in anyone’s memory, are getting a big helping hand, and there are major investments that will help older adults. Think lower drug prices–a proposed cap on out-of-pocket spending at $2,000 per year for seniors, allowing Medicare to negotiate prices in parts B and D, and lowering the price of insulin from $600 to $35.
There’s an investment in public transport; roadway upgrades will ensure that cyclists and pedestrians can be safe. There’s even a $550 increase in those Pell Grants that we mentioned earlier, helping make education affordable.
Overview of legislation’s investments that will help older Americans
Note the bill’s common themes of combating isolation, of keeping people safe, active and connected.
- A major investment in broadband will give consumers high-speed internet access no matter where they live. The legislation commits $65 billion to expand networks, provide training for consumers and lower the cost of service. It includes almost $3 billion for training to make sure that everyone has the skills they need to fully engage in digital life.
- Transportation infrastructure repairs. The package contains $284 billion in new transportation spending for long-overdue repairs to roadways and bridges, as well as supporting new and safertransportation options for consumers — critically important for the nearly 20 percent of people over 65 who do not drive.
- An historic investment in public transit.The $bill includes more than $39 billion to modernize and expand public transit services, including a set-aside to make legacy transit systems accessible.
- An enhanced commitment to safe streets. The legislation makes important new investments in the safety of roadways for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists.
A vast amount of work remains to build an infrastructure that meets all the needs of an aging society. Greater support for caregivers, better access to home- and community-based services, improvements to Medicare, paid family leave and affordable housing options are all growing needs. Yet this historic legislation is going to enhance the quality of life for millions of Americans.
One thoughtful action item for your family this holiday: Create or update your Living Trust.
As you prepare your home for winter and get caught up on vaccines that will help you and your family stay healthy through the coming months, this is also a great time to create or update your Living Trust. With families gathered for the holidays, it’s also the perfect time to encourage aging family members to create their Living Trusts.
We’re proud of our comprehensive Living Trust package that includes a Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive. Best of all, we guide you through it and we prepare the legal documents. Schedule an appointment with Guideway today.
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