New Poll: Older Americans Oppose Policies that Increase Health Costs

Majority of Older Trump Voters Believe House Bill Imposes an Unfair “Age Tax,” Oppose Changes to Medicaid, and Want Measures to Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

Chicago, IL — Today AARP released the findings of a survey that said a majority of voters ages 50 plus – including most Trump supporters – oppose specific provisions of the bill that make health care more expensive for older Americans. The survey asked about multiple elements of the health care reform bill and also found that an overwhelming majority want action to lower drug costs.

“Older Americans want affordable health care – including less expensive prescription drugs and continued protections for the most vulnerable,” said AARP Executive Vice President  Nancy LeaMond.  “When Americans over age 50 look at the details of the House health care reform plan, they don’t like what they see.  They don’t want big insurance and drug companies to reap massive profits at their expense.”

Specific findings of the survey include:

More than half of all respondents (55%) – including a majority (51%) of older Trump voters -- agree that allowing insurance companies to charge people five times as much as other adults for the same coverage amount to an Age Tax on older Americans. 
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of all respondents – including a majority (55%) of Trump voters -- believe that Congress should keep funding for Medicaid where it is now.

The survey also highlights that lowering the cost of prescriptions is a top priority for older Trump voters.  A significant majority blames big drug companies for rising prices and- support measures such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. 

  • Approximately three-quarters of all respondents (76%) and Trump voters (74%) believe that high drug costs are the result of big drug companies and the deals their lobbyists make.
  • Letting Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices is far more important to older voters than over turning Medicare into a voucher program. More than three-quarters (78%) of all respondents and more than two-thirds (67%) of Trump voters favor letting Medicare negotiate drug costs over vouchers.
  •   Lowering drug costs (94%) and letting Medicare negotiate drug prices (96%) is more important to Trump voters than building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (77%). 

Survey Methodology: Benenson Strategy Group, in conjunction with GS Strategy Group, conducted 605 telephone interviews from March 10-13, 2017, with registered voters ages 50+ nationwide, who voted in the 2016 election. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error for the entire sample is ± 4.0%. It is ± 5.7% among Trump voters. The full results of the poll may be found here.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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