AARP releases voter guide focusing on health care, budget, and campaigns


A.J. Balukoff, Democrat candidate for governor, and a couple of national health care policy analysts disagree on the impact expanding Medicaid would have on emergency room visits.

An organization representing older Idahoans has released a voters’ guide asking candidates in races across the state about how to handle the state budget, problems related to medical care, and state election law.

AARP Idaho, which serves people in the state 50 years or older, is calling its online and print voters’ guide the largest in the state.  Several other organizations have posted candidate questionnaires discussing other political topics.

“Our efforts are going to help voters cut through the political campaign clutter and get right to the issues,” spokesman David Irwin said Thursday.

The online guide currently has information for state legislative races, and the contests for governor and lieutenant governor.

AARP Idaho State Director Jim Wordelman said the response rate from office seekers has been good.

The candidates’ responses are listed next to AARP’s position on an issue.  The group favors repealing a law approved earlier this year without Gov. Butch Otter’s signature, that gives medical professionals conscience rights, but could cause some workers to not honor patients’ end-of-life care instructions.  AARP Idaho also favors more limits on political campaign contributions.

AARP will also soon release a similar guide for candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  One of the issues Wordelman said the group is asking congressional candidates about is whether they support higher funding for doctors who treat people on Medicare and Medicaid.

Other issues on AARP’s list include supporting Social Security, improving the economy, and  tougher penalties for Medicare fraud.

Wordelman said the group focused on a voter information guide because of the importance of this year’s election.

AARP is also planning events in all 35 legislative districts.

Other websites and  newspapers are also publishing voters’ guides to candidates.  Among those currently available are the Idaho Voters Guide from the Cornerstone Family Council, the Gem State Voter Guide from Idaho Chooses Life and the Idaho Freedom Foundation, and Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test.

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AARP Idaho State Director Jim Wordelman, AARP Idaho State Director Jim Wordelman
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