Social Security, Medicare Anniversaries Remind Voters of Important Issues in Pivotal Election Year

This summer marks another successful anniversary for Social Security and Medicare as Social Security turns 83 and Medicare turns 53.

Social Security and Medicare remain critical to the economic and health security of Americans, and although the programs remain strong, challenges lay ahead for the long term. We can and must find bipartisan solutions to strengthen these vital programs, ensuring they can meet their promise for current and future generations.

With regard to Medicare, we need to take further steps to lower the cost of health care, especially the ever-rising price of prescription drugs. No good reason exists for Americans to continue paying the highest brand name drug prices in the world. High-priced drugs hurt Americans of all ages, and seniors, who on average take 4.5 medications a month, are particularly vulnerable.

Congress has already taken a step to reduce the financial burden of older Americans by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the doughnut hole. However, there are continuing efforts to undo this progress, which would increase drug costs for older Americans. During this election year, AARP is raising the profile of this and other key issues for age 50-plus voters.

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, recent polling suggests Social Security and Medicare will be key issues for 50-plus voters.

Recent AARP/Politico polls found:

  • A significant majority of 50-plus Arizona voters say Social Security (78 percent), health care (76 percent) and Medicare (75 percent) are “very important” issues as they head to the polls in November.
  • Significant majorities of Florida voters age 50 and older say Social Security (82 percent) and health care (78 percent) will be very important to their vote for Congress this fall.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Florida voters cite the future of Medicare as an important election issue

 

AARP’s voter engagement campaign Be The Difference. Vote,” is mobilizing voters across the country. The effort will also help to ensure issues of particular importance to older voters are front and center—issues like Medicare, Social Security, financial security, prescription drug costs, and family caregiving.

AARP is tracking key races, sponsoring debates, and hosting candidate forums and tele-townhall events. Election information is provided through a full-scale digital effort, including aarp.org/vote, the AARP Now app, social media outreach, graphics, and news alerts. AARP is also using direct mail, phone banks and transportation assistance to help people get to the polls.