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Survey shows seniors’ concerns over rising health care costs, Social Security

October 4, 2018

CHARLESTON — West Virginia’s voters age 50 and older remain skeptical of drug companies, which they say are to blame for the rising cost of health care.

Meanwhile, the future of Social Security and Medicare remain top issues of concern among that voting population.

In an AARP WV poll being released this week, the 2018 West Virginia Voters 50+ Report, by AARP West Virginia, 68 percent of surveyed voters believe prescription drug companies charge “as much as possible for drugs because they know that people who are sick, have a health condition or are in pain will pay for it.”

When asked about the factors driving up the cost of health care, “drug companies charging too much for medications and treatment” topped the list, followed by “insurance companies too focused on profits.” At the bottom of the list were “lawsuits” and “aging population.”

Support for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to bring down prescription drug costs for seniors is nearly unanimous among West Virginia’s voters 50 and older, according to survey results. Three-quarters of voters in the state also said they would back placing legal limits on the profits pharmaceutical companies are allowed to make.

According to projections in the latest Social Security Trustees’ report, Social Security can pay full benefits for 16 years, but if nothing is done to make the program financially sound for the long term, benefits will be cut by nearly 25 percent starting in 2034.

Social Security and measures to shore it up remain one of the most important issues to voters aged 50 and older, who remain on guard against Congressional reforms that they believe would harm seniors.

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