2016 Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Senior Issues

trump and clinton debate

Election day, November 8th, is coming up fast. Americans have been hearing about the candidates for months now. Do you know the candidates’ positions on the policies that will affect you?

It is challenging to sort through all the information the candidates and media throw at us. To help make the voting process easier, here is a breakdown of the presidential candidates’ policies that affect seniors.

Donald Trump Background Information

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. He has no prior political experience. He is a business owner of The Trump Organization, a real estate firm. Trump was a television personality on the reality show The Apprentice.

Trump attended Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Hillary Clinton Background Information

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. She has 33 years of prior political experience. Clinton began her political career as the First Lady of Arkansas and then the First Lady of the United States. Afterwards, she went on to become a U.S. Senator and the U.S. Secretary of State.

Clinton has two degrees: A Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wellesley College (1969) and a Juris Doctor degree from Yale (1973).

Social Security

social security

Hillary Clinton opposes:

  • Republican’s wishes to privatize Social Security. She says we cannot risk gambling seniors’ retirement security on the stock market.
  • Lowering annual cost-of-living adjustments. Clinton believes that Social Security benefits should continue to rise with inflation.
  • Republican efforts to raise the retirement age. The full retirement age used to be 65, but it has gradually rose to 67. She does not wish for this age requirement to rise any higher.

Hillary Clinton supports:

  • Expanding Social Security. She states that the current system disadvantages citizens who take time off work to care for family members. Benefits are calculated based on a person’s top 35 years of earnings, so taking time off work to take care of a family member reduces these benefits.
  • Benefit credits for people cannot work because they are caregivers. Clinton also wants to limit the drop in benefits seniors receive when their spouse dies.
  • Preserving Social Security by raising funding. If there are more taxes placed upon the wealthy, she believes this is possible.
  • Taxing wealthy Americans with incomes above the current Social Security cap.  Social Security only taxes annual wages below $118,500. Any income above that is not taxed for Social Security. Clinton believes their income that is not being taken into account by the Social Security system should have taxes.

Donald Trump supports: 

  • Reducing the number of tax brackets from 7 brackets to 3 brackets. He believes the U.S. can preserve Social Security by having a strong, growing economy. The taxable income rate would be as follows:
    • Less than $75,000- 12%
    • More than $75,000 but less than $225,000- 25%
    • More than $225,000- 33%
  • Changing the corporate tax rate to stimulate the economy. Trump wants to lower the current 15% to 39%, which is dependent on income, to 15% for all corporations.
  • Saving Social Security through immigration reform. Trump believes this will save money and improve the economy. He states it will save billions of dollars a year in education, health care and public safety costs.
  • Making Mexico build a border wall and ending birthright citizenship. Trump desires to create a requirement to hire American workers first. He believes these steps will improve the economy which will preserve Social Security.


medicare protester

Hillary Clinton supports:

  • Creating a public buy-in option for people aged 55 to 64 who wish to receive Medicare. She wants evaluate these individuals so they pay the appropriate amount for the program.
  • Lowering the current prescription drug prices for seniors. Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies would help this. 
  • Changing the U.S. law so we can import prescription drugs from foreign countries. This would allow Americans to receive cheaper prices for their pharmaceuticals. It is currently illegal to import any prescription drugs.
  • Fighting Republican efforts to privatize or “phase out” Medicare. She believes the program should remain a public service.
  • Demanding pharmaceutical companies to stop using majority of their revenue for marketing or excessive profits. Denying tax breaks for direct-to-consumer advertising would do this. Instead this revenue should go to research and develop and lowering prescription costs. 

Donald Trump supports:

  • Preserving Medicare instead of reducing it. But, recently his adviser Sam Clovis hints that they may trim benefits as a way to keep the program viable.
  • Keeping Medicare a public service although the Republican platform desires to privatize. He states that changes to Medicare is unfair to the citizens that have been paying into it for years.
  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. Like Clinton, he believes this will lower prescription drug prices for seniors. The current law does not allow for this.
  • Changing United States policies so people can buy imported prescription drugs from foreign countries. Trump believes that consumers should be allowed to access imported, safe, and dependable drugs from overseas. This will bring more options to consumers and save them money. 

Senior Discrimination in the Workforce

seniors using computers

Hillary Clinton states:

  • “I don’t think anyone should be subjected to discrimination for any reason, and that includes age.” She wants to use “the full power of the law” to stop age discrimination.
  • There should be more programs to help older citizens learn more skills. These skills would help them in the workforce. Clinton says these should be community programs and she would encourage seniors to enroll in them.

Donald Trump states:

  • That “we would strongly enforce legal prohibitions against such discrimination.” He states that reducing the abuse of visa programs would allow seniors to get back jobs. He believes foreigners are taking jobs that were previously held by seniors.
  • Seniors have valuable experience and wisdom from many years in the workforce. The modern workforce should use this and respect and protect seniors.

Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers disease advocates

Hillary Clinton

Clinton has proposed a six-point plan to make a cure possible for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

  These points are:

  • Invest $2 billion in federal funding per year to research prevention and treatment.
  • Ensure that funding is consistent and reliable.
  • Assign the most qualified research and health experts to the project.
  • Make sure Medicare covers the care plans of families and individuals with Alzheimer’s.
  • Appeal to Congress to reauthorize the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program. This help finds individuals with Alzheimer’s who are missing.
  • Raise awareness to seniors to take advantage of their Medicare benefits.


Donald Trump

  • At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Trump has stated that Alzheimer’s research is a “total top priority for me.” He describes how the disease affects many of his friend’s families. This is also a personal matter for him since Trump’s father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s.
  • Although Trump has made this statement, he has not proposed any specific plans for Alzheimer’s research. America is staying tuned for more information.  

Get Out and Vote

Trump and Clinton

Every platform and policy change each candidate proposes affects you. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, it is important that every American votes. Keep in mind the candidates' promises when you perform your civic duty.