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Older adults identify policy priorities

January 20, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Healthcare and retirement income issues aren’t the top priorities that President Barack Obama and Congress should be addressing, according to those aged 65 or more years who responded to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Older adults taking the survey ranked terrorism, the nation’s economy and improving the job situation as the top three priorities for the federal government, with 84 percent, 73 percent and 71 percent, respectively, ranking those issues as most important. Right behind those three issues, however, were the matters of Social Security (69 percent) and reducing healthcare costs and addressing Medicare (each at 68 percent). Scientific research was the lowest priority among those included in the poll, with only 32 percent of those aged 65 or more identifying it as a top priority for the president and Congress.

Overall, 66 percent of survey respondents aged 18 or more said that Social Security is a priority, 64 percent identified healthcare costs as such, 61 percent said Medicare needs to be addressed and 41 percent prioritized scientific research.

The Pew Research Center’s annual policy priorities survey was conducted Jan. 7 to 11 among 1,504 adults.

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