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AARP Pennsylvania Survey Says Healthcare Costs and Related Issues Could Impact How People Vote


Multiple surveys show that older voters are concerned about the cost of healthcare and Medicare, along with other financial concerns.



It’s not uncommon for industries to be uncertain about what the future holds in an election year. Depending on who wins the presidential election, companies can face very different regulatory and financial landscapes. Things are no different with the upcoming 2024 presidential election, which sees two candidates running against each other who have very different views on almost every issue.

At this point, it’s still uncertain who will win. As such, polls from various battleground states carry more weight than usual. A new poll released by the AARP in Pennsylvania suggests that healthcare issues, such as Medicare and healthcare costs in general, will play a significant role in how women over 50-years-old vote.1

In a press release, AARP Pennsylvania state director Bill Johnston-Walsh said, “At AARP, we know that the election is coming at a time when women 50+ are worried and feeling stretched to the limit. With inflation and the rising costs of living squeezing Pennsylvania households, women are feeling the pinch directly. But women 50+ consistently vote, and their message is clear: candidates need to understand and provide solutions to the issues that are significantly impacting their lives."

While this most recent poll focused on women, another recent poll released by the AARP in Pennsylvania shows similar issues are at the forefront of black voters over the age of 50 as well.2 According to that poll, respondents said Medicare issues would impact their vote, along with inflation and social security.

In a press release issued at the time, Johnston Walsh said, “With inflation and the rising costs of living squeezing all Pennsylvania households, Black voters 50+ are clearly looking for leaders with a plan. Candidates would be wise to listen to their opinions and concerns if they want to win in November."

While both polls focused on specific groups of voters, as opposed to the broad voter base in the state, the AARP believes that these specific groups may hold significant importance in the upcoming election.

In early May, Johnston-Walsh explained the situation,3 saying, “Pennsylvania voters over age 50 are a critical voting bloc that all candidates are competing for in this election. Pennsylvanians of all political stripes want leaders to protect Social Security and provide support for family caregivers. If candidates want to win, they should pay attention to the issues that matter to Pennsylvanians ages 50-plus."

The upcoming election has garnered plenty of attention in the life sciences industry. Earlier this month, Pharmaceutical Executive attended the Financial Times US Pharma and Biotech Summit in New York City, during which a panel was held that focused specifically on the election and how the industry is preparing for it.4

Terri Stewart of EMD Serono participated in the panel, saying, “What I would say is that neither one of those messages, IRA acceleration or international reference pricing, is particularly hopeful. It's not what people hope for. Instead, they hope their grandmother lives long enough to make it to their high school graduation, they hope that there's something out there to treat some illness that they have that has no treatment. And so, my recommendation either one of them is that people want hope.”


  1. New AARP Poll: Women 50+ Say Social Security, Medicare, Healthcare Costs Will Influence 2024 Vote. AARP Pennsylvania. May 29, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-aarp-poll-women-50-say-social-security-medicare-healthcare-costs-will-influence-2024-vote-302158117.html
  2. New AARP Pennsylvania Poll: Black Voters 50+ Say Social Security, Inflation, and Medicare Will Influence 2024 Vote. AARP Pennsylvania. May 15, 2024. Accessed May 29, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-aarp-pennsylvania-poll-black-voters-50-say-social-security-inflation-and-medicare-will-influence-2024-vote-302146644.html
  3. New AARP Pennsylvania Poll: Voters 50+ Could Tip the Scales in 2024. AARP Pennsylvania. May 7, 2024. Accessed May 29, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-aarp-pennsylvania-poll-voters-50-could-tip-the-scales-in-2024-302138625.html
  4. Hollan, Mike. US Pharma and Biotech Summit 2024: The Impact of the Presidential Election. Pharmaceutical Executive. May 20, 2024. Accessed May 29, 2024. https://www.pharmexec.com/view/impact-presidential-election-us-pharma-biotech-summit-2024
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