Absolutely, if you broaden their scope of concern beyond just issues directly tied to aging. Tax policies, especially those that could lead to greater investment in the longevity market, are critically important. These policies could bolster investment in housing, infrastructure and even new technologies.
Also, the federal regulatory agenda can greatly impact those in the longevity market. Just the action of the FDA alone in approving (or not) new products or devices can be significant.
The actions of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can greatly impact the longevity market too. An example is the recent and continuing decisions by the Administration to expand the definition of “health-related supplemental benefits” in Medicare Advantage. This opens the door to Medicare coverage for home-delivered meals, home modifications and home and community-based services. It also means that insurance companies may soon be paying private companies to provide these services and products to insurance beneficiaries.
Further, CMS actions related to drug pricing will impact the pharmaceutical industry, which is invested in the longevity economy.
As noted in another question, policies related to employment and immigration can impact the longevity market as well.
Sometimes overlooked, but important, is the 2020 Census and how its results may decide levels of federal money coming into a state and the resultant impact on the longevity market.
Finally, issues like net neutrality, privacy considerations (including and especially data breaches) and artificial intelligence can also be important now and in the future.
The more you drill down into who is in the longevity market and whom they aim to serve or reach, the more obvious it becomes. There are many policy issues directly or indirectly tied to aging that need to be followed.
Of course, longevity market professionals (like everyone else who is eligible) must vote in November and beyond. The 100 million Americans who did not vote might have had as much impact on the outcome as those who did.
Beyond voting, longevity market professionals could assist with voter education and voter registration activities. They should also be concerned and be supportive of all efforts to ensure voter security in national and state elections.
On a strategic basis, becoming more involved in political action (donating directly to candidates, supporting a political action committee) should be considered depending on the degree of involvement desired with a specific candidate or party.
If political action is not an applicable route, knowledge of and building contact with elected officials is still vitally important.
In the new world of political candidates outside the “normal” path, professionals could also consider running for office, whether local, state or national, in the future.
Bob Blancato is the President of Matz Blancato and Associates, the National Coordinator of the bipartisan 3000-member Elder Justice Coalition, and the Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Bob has more than 20 years of service in the US Congressional and Executive branches, including senior staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and an appointment by President Clinton to be Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. More recently, Bob serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the American Society on Aging and on the National Board of AARP. He also serves on the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.