A spokesman for A-A-R-P says some key senior issues are starting to get more attention in the 2004 presidential campaign. One of the hallmarks of the 2000 presidential election was a debate about the future of Social Security and that “lock box” Al Gore promised. John McCalley , the public affairs director for A-A-R-P’s Iowa chapter, admits this year’s campaign debate so far has focused mainly on Iraq and the economy. McCalley says there are “a lot of divisive issues out there in the electoral ether right now,” but he says as the election’s gotten closer, health care has become a more prominent campaign topic, and that’s something A-A-R-P is focused on. McCalley also points to democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s trip to Iowa last week and his focus on both health care reform and Medicare changes. McCaley says “the closer we get to the election, the more (the candidates) are paying attention to who’s going to turn out, and seniors are a big voting block.” McCalley predicts “we’re going to hear more about Social Security and Medicare come October.” McCalley says A-A-R-P has a variety of information for voters on its website. McCalley says A-A-R-P asked President Bush and Senator Kerry to tell them in writing how they stand on Social Security, Medicare, long-term care and health care reform, and the responses from the candidates are on-line at www.aarp.org. A-A-R-P parked an R-V outside a Des Moines mall (Merle Hay Mall) on Saturday to hand out voters guides to shoppers.
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