Today, AARP South Carolina cancelled its previously announced 5th congressional district candidate forum set for Monday, June 12, 2017 at Winthrop University. The live event was to be broadcast live on WRHI radio. Unfortunately, AARP was informed by Ralph Norman’s campaign that he was unable to make the event. According to AARP’s previously-established qualification criteria, only one remaining candidate, Archie Parnell, was eligible for participation. Rather than host a single-candidate forum in contravention of its non-partisan approach to voter education, AARP elected to cancel the event.
“AARP South Carolina is disappointed that Mr. Norman declined our invitation to take part in the forum,“ said Teresa Arnold, AARP South Carolina state director. “We had a plan that AARP South Carolina would host both 5th district candidates on the same stage for a candidate forum.” As a non-partisan organization AARP does not endorse candidates but feels it important to provide voter engagement opportunities to its members.
“With nearly two out of every three voters expected to be 50 years or older on June 20th, they deserve to know where each candidate stands on these important issues,” said Arnold. “On behalf of our 81,000 plus members in the district it’s important to know where the nominees stand on these critical concerns before voters cast their ballots.”
AARP South Carolina has launched a special web site www.aarp.org/scvote where members and the public can learn about issues important to those 50 plus in this special election.
One issue of concern is the Age Tax in the recently House passed AHCA. The Age Tax would force Americans age 50 to 64 to pay five times – or even more - for health care than what others pay for the same coverage. This discriminatory tax would impact more than 105,000 South Carolinians, and force them to pay tens of thousands of dollars that they can’t afford.
Other health care changes being proposed in Congress could also dramatically increase premium costs for folks 50 and older. “AARP SC wants voters in the 5th Congressional District 5 to be informed about the issues important to them when they cast their vote on June 20,” she said.