Health Reform's Enemy No. 1? Seniors

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2009 9:12 AM CDT
President Barack Obama participates in an AARP tele-town hall on health care, Tuesday, July 28, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Scan the ranks of health care reform malcontents at your local town hall, and you’ll notice a lot of older faces. With Democrats aiming their sales pitch mostly at middle-class Americans and the uninsured, seniors have come to fear that Medicare, their own beloved government-run health care, will face unpleasant cuts, Politico reports. Just 20% believe reform will improve their situation—which could spell a big problem for the 2010 elections, since seniors vote more than any other demographic.

Barack Obama tried to reassure seniors yesterday, saying “We are not talking about cutting Medicare benefits,” and adding, “We have the AARP onboard because they know this is a good deal for our seniors.” But an AARP spokesman said the insinuation that the group supported any of the bills was “inaccurate,” even though AARP officials have appeared at White House health care events and held a tele-town hall for Obama.