CONTACT:

Jane Margesson, AARP Maine Communications Director

(207) 229-5628 or jmargesson@aarp.org

 

Health Care Proposals Are Deeply Unpopular Among Maine’s Largest Voting Block

 

Large Majorities of Older Voters Across Party Lines Oppose the Age Tax, Removal of Pre-existing Condition Protections, Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

 

PORTLAND — AARP Maine today released new survey data highlighting the deep divide between Americans and Washington politicians over  health care policies important to older Americans.

“Health care is a deeply personal issue that has a real and immediate impact on American families across the political spectrum. These survey findings are very clear – Mainers don’t support legislation that would mean higher costs and less coverage for older Americans,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “AARP urges Senator  Collins to oppose any bill that would raise premiums, price people with pre-existing conditions out of coverage, weaken Medicare and make cuts to Medicaid that would reduce services for those most at-risk including low and middle-income seniors in need of long-term care supports.”

More details from the survey are below:

  • The Age Tax: 94% of Maine voters age 50+ oppose charging older Americans five times more than others for their healthcare plan while just 4% support the drastic cost increase. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose the age tax includes 88% of Republicans, 96% of Independents, and 98% of Democrats.
  • Medicare Cuts: 89% of Maine voters age 50+ oppose cutting funding for Medicare and increasing premiums for current and future seniors, while just 9% support the harmful cuts. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose Medicare cuts includes 82% of Republicans, 89% of Independents, and 95% of Democrats.
  • Removal of Pre-existing Condition Protections: 83% of Maine voters age 50+ oppose charging people with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage, while just 15% support doing so. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose removal of this protection includes 67% of Republicans, 83% of Independents, and 95% of Democrats.
  • Tax Breaks for Big Drug and Insurance Companies: 83% of Maine voters age 50+ oppose providing tax breaks for insurance and drug companies, while just 11% support such breaks. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose tax breaks for big drug and insurance companies includes 73% of Republicans, 87% of Independents, and 89% of Democrats.
  • Medicaid Funding Cuts: 79% of Maine voters age 50+ oppose cutting funding for Medicaid, while just 18% support the harmful cuts. The proportion of age 50+ voters who oppose Medicaid cuts includes 68% of Republicans, 81% of Independents, and 88% of Democrats.

Methodology: AARP commissioned a telephone survey among 601 likely voters age 50+ in Maine. The sample utilized an age-targeted registered voter landline and cell phone list who were contacted between June 2 and June 13, 2017. The data were weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region and are generalizeable to registered voters in Maine age 50+. The survey has a margin of sampling error of ±4 percent. The survey annotation will be made available at www.aarp.org/2017healthcaresurvey.

On Monday this week, AARP Maine launched an “AHCA Spotlight” campaign which includes the release of videos of Mainers who will be impacted by the bill sharing their stories with a focus on the age tax and pre-existing conditions:

 

Bill Libby of Bangor: https://youtu.be/bblRClmauvY

Carol Laverriere of Windham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piaSyngOJfQ

 

Media can find more information on these issues here:

 

Liquid Savings of 50+ Households: http://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2017/liquid-savings-of-working-households.html

 

Age Rating: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2017-01/Final_Spotlight_Age_Rating_Feb7.pdf

 

Premium Tax Credits: http://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2017/adequate-premium-tax-credits-are-vital-to-maintain-access-to-affordable-health-coverage-for-older-adults.html

 

Maine Projected Premium Increases: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2017/03/maine-premium-increases-from-tax-credit-and-age-rating-changes-under-ahca-ppi.pdf

 

High Risk Pools: http://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2017/Experience-Has-Taught-Us-That-High-Risk-Pools-Do-Not-Serve-Consumers-Well.html

 

 

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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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