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AARP "Election Watch" Poll Finds Support for Medicare Drug Plan Among Likely Voters

In AARP’s latest “Election Watch” poll, almost twice as many respondents (48%) consider Medicare Part D to be a good thing for Americans having difficulty paying for prescription drugs as those who consider it to be bad for older Americans (26%).

As the upcoming mid-term elections draw near, AARP wanted to take the pulse of the public’s opinion on issues that its members have indicated they want to hear about in the national and state political debate. AARP also wanted to determine how much attention people are paying to the elections and what they consider when making their voting decisions.

The poll on the Medicare prescription drug program is the eighth in a series of nine election polls to be released by AARP. Surveying nearly 1,000 likely voters age 42 and above, it found that approximately half of all boomer+ respondents (48%) think that Medicare’s new prescription drug plan will be good for older Americans who have difficulty paying for their prescriptions. One-quarter of all boomer+ respondents (26%) think Medicare’s prescription drug plan will be bad.

AARP Director of Government Relations David Sloane explains, “Millions in Medicare have been saving with their new Part D plans leaving an overall favorable impression of the program. Improvements still need to be made to bring down costs and to get more limited income people the added assistance they need. As enrollment for 2007 begins in November, AARP will continue to provide information to our members so they can find a plan that is best for them.”

There are very little differences of opinion about the Medicare prescription drug plan among the different age groups. Younger boomers (51% ages 42-50) are just as likely as older boomers (52% ages 51-60) and respondents 61+ (46%) to think Medicare’s prescription drug plan will be a good thing for older Americans who have difficulty paying for their prescriptions.

Across all age groups less than 3 in 10 respondents think Medicare’s prescription drug plan will be bad for older Americans who have difficulty paying for their prescriptions (24% ages 42-50, 26% ages 51-60, and 28% ages 61+).

AARP’s “Election Watch also found strong interest in the mid-term election among the nation’s most active voters. Approximately 9 in 10 respondents (88%) said they are interested in the upcoming elections. Nearly two-thirds are very interested (63%) and one-quarter are somewhat interested (25%). Respondents ages 51 and older are more likely to say they are very interested in the upcoming election than younger respondents (55% ages 42-50, 67% ages 51-60, and 64% ages 61+).

The final AARP “Election Watch Pulse of a Generation” poll, to be released next week, looks at government spending and fiscal responsibility as a voting concern. Full copies of this and other AARP polls can be accessed at

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50 + educators; 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.

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