New AARP Report Details Some of the Most Important Issues to New York's 50+ Not Being Debated

Oct 22, 2012, 17:09 ET from AARP New York

Social Security & Medicare Weigh Heavily on the Minds of Empire State's Largest Voting Demographic

NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The most important issues to the nation's largest voting demographic weren't exactly hot topics in the last presidential debate, and they likely won't be in tonight's debate either.  However, according to a new AARP New York report released today, Social Security and Medicare are far from absent in the minds of the state's most powerful voting demographic, the 50 plus.

"Simply because the candidates didn't talk about the future of Social Security and Medicare in their last debate doesn't mean the issues have gone away, especially for New Yorkers age 50 and older," said David McNally, Manager of Government Affairs for AARP in New York.  "It's very clear, New Yorkers are ready for the debate the candidates didn't have in New York and aren't slated to have in Florida tonight."

The new AARP report, New Yorkers Have Their Say about Medicare and Social Security, finds that 84% of New Yorkers who filled out the You've Earned a Say questionnaires, think Social Security needs some changes, with over one third stating the biggest challenge facing the system is that higher paid workers aren't paying enough in to the program.  85% of those who took the questionnaire think Medicare needs some changes, nearly 80% say future retirees should get the same coverage from the program as today's retirees. Over one third, say the rising cost of health care is the biggest challenge facing Medicare. Though the questionnaires are not scientific, they do reflect the views of hundreds of thousands of New York residents.   

"50 plus voters in New York and across the nation are looking for more than a 30-second sound bite from the candidate's on their plans for Social Security and Medicare," added McNally. "New Yorkers have earned these benefits, and they've earned a say in the future of Social Security and Medicare – we're working to make sure candidates hear what New Yorkers have got to say."

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, AARP New York will be releasing similar reports for each Congressional District in New York, highlighting the views of constituents on the future of Social Security and Medicare.  Over the last year, AARP has travelled throughout New York as part of You've Earned a Say to bring the debate on the issues out from behind closed doors in Washington and help people have a voice in the future of the programs.

Based on exit polling in New York from the last two presidential elections, the state's 50 plus vote is on track to account for roughly 40% of all votes cast.  In 2004 the state's 50 plus vote made up 41% of the electorate and in 2008, they totaled 38% of all votes cast.

The full AARP New York report and questionnaire results can be found online:

AARP has over 2.7 million members in New York.

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.