As the midterm elections draw near, rarely has our country seemed so divided, our need to rediscover our shared values so great. Rarely has there been a more desperate need for our collective voice to be heard. That’s why this past spring, AARP launched a full-scale campaign entitled “Be the Difference. Vote!” to educate voters on the issues and to urge you to show up at the polls next month.
The people we elect in November will make policy decisions that, in large part, will determine the future direction of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that will shape the lives of older Americans for years to come.
On these issues, there are no partisan divides. A large national AARP survey conducted in July shows that older Americans are in strong accord on the issues that most affect their lives.
About 9 out of 10 registered voters who are age 50 and over agree that it is important to lower health care costs, cut the price of prescription drugs and make Social Security and Medicare stronger and better.
These voters want their government to look out for their interests. There is overwhelming support for allowing workers to take time off to care for their families. And they want stronger laws to keep older workers from losing their jobs or facing other types of discrimination because of age. It’s also vital to them that rules are set to protect them from financial advice that is not in their best interest.
A 2017 AARP poll has also shown that most older voters strongly oppose some of the changes being considered in Washington. By significant majorities, they oppose premium support or voucher-type proposals for Medicare, and they reject limits or block grants for Medicaid. And they worry that Congress might cut programs such as Social Security.
For these reasons, older Americans crave bipartisanship. They look for leaders who are willing to find common ground and are working to protect and strengthen crucial programs.
AARP has a proud history of providing voters with information on where candidates stand on issues. Throughout this campaign we have been sponsoring debates, hosting candidate forums, holding tele-town hall events and providing news and analysis. AARP does not endorse or oppose candidates. We don’t have a political action committee or make donations to candidates or political campaigns. But we do urge all candidates to make their positions clear with voters.
Throughout this campaign, we’ve sought to arm you with what you need to know to make informed decisions. Now it’s your turn. On Nov. 6, go to the polls. Stand up and protect what we’ve earned. Our future depends on it. Be the difference. Vote!
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