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The numbers don’t lie: seniors are the largest and most active voting demographic in the United States. These voters matched expectations for the 2010 midterm elections: those age 50+ provided nearly six of every 10 votes, and voters 65+ cast nearly a quarter of all ballots -- the highest percentage since 1994. How will that voting power extend to political power now that the election is over?
With the Bay State’s 60+ population expected to grow to 1.6 million in the next decade, newly elected politicians must recognize that the coming age wave will have a major impact on the commonwealth. Prior to the election, the candidates for governor weighed in on aging issues including:
- Health care affordability: many seniors face high premiums and increased cost sharing.
- Prescription drug affordability: Prescription Advantage, the state’s program that works in tandem with Medicare Part D, has been cut to the bone, again and again.
- Long-term care: Massachusetts seniors want to remain in their home and community, but more funding goes to nursing homes and other institutional care, rather than home and community based services.
- Housing and transportation: Massachusetts residents need safe, affordable and accessible housing, as well as mobility options that include alternatives to driving.
- Jobs and economic security: The pool of older workers is growing but many employers have not updated their employment practices to reflect this aging demographic.
Now it is your turn to hold those voted into office to the principles and ideas that got them elected. Find out who won each race www.sec.state.ma.us, and if you haven't already, be sure to refer to our nonpartisan voters’ guides to find your officials’ positions on aging issues, along with AARP’s,
You can also watch the free webcast of the AARP Massachusetts Governor's Forum, recorded at Faneuil Hall.
Then, contact your elected officials and let them know that you will be holding them accountable when it comes to aging issues.