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In just a month, voters in Florida will go to the polls to choose all 27 Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives, a U.S. senator, a governor, all 120 members of the state House of Representatives, many state senators and thousands of local officeholders.

But who will vote?  Voter turnout in midterm elections traditionally runs significantly lower than in presidential elections. AARP Florida is urging all registered voters to cast their ballots for candidates and issues of their choice on Nov. 6

On Oct. 4, AARP’s Associate State Director for Jacksonville, Justine Conley, will appear on River City Live, a television program broadcast at 11 am weekdays on WJXT-TV in Jacksonville.  Conley will discuss AARP’s “Be The Difference: Vote” initiative, which is urging voters of all ages to turn out and cast their ballots in the 2018 midterm election.

“AARP believes that the issues most important to voters 50-plus – including Social Security, Medicare and the high cost of prescription drugs – are actually of vital importance to voters of all ages,” Conley said. “Take Social Security.  About 90 percent of Floridians age 65-plus get about half their annual income from the Social Security benefits they’ve earned.  Even if you’re 35 today, the odds are, you’ll also depend on Social Security later in life.  So, keeping Social Security strong matters for all of us.”

With the federal government’s deficit projected to rise above $1 trillion per year soon, the next Congress also could consider cuts to Medicare benefits, increases to Medicare co-pays and premiums, or shifting Medicare from its current approach to a “premium support” approach in which the federal government would provide part of the cost of a privatized Medicare program and beneficiaries would be required to pick up the rest of the cost.

AARP also is urging voters to focus on the fast-rising cost of prescription drugs.  A September 2018 AARP study found that prescription drug costs are rising four times as fast as overall inflation.  The study found that the average annual cost of a brand-name prescription drug in 2006 was $1,868, but had jumped to $6,798 in 2017.

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