Washington has been talking about big changes to Social Security and Medicare for more than a year. Yet one voice has been missing from the political debate – yours.
AARP wants to fix that.
So far, Washington’s been talking about Social Security and Medicare as though they’re just numbers on a chart. Missing has been any discussion about how proposed changes would affect you and your family. Starting this spring, we’re taking the debate out from behind the closed doors in Washington, and launching You’ve Earned a Say – a national conversation to ensure you and millions of other Floridians will have your say on the future of Medicare and Social Security.
See also: AARP CEO Barry Rand on Social Security - We’re Listening
We call the effort “You’ve Earned a Say” because you’ve earned your benefits by paying into Social Security and Medicare for years, and you deserve to know what changes politicians are putting on the table. In coming months, AARP Florida will sponsor more than 200 town halls, community conversations and other discussions, plus tele-Town Halls, bus tours and other events – all with the goal of giving you a chance to state your views and offer ideas about how to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for the long haul.
Most older Floridians know exactly why this conversation is very important – your health and retirement security are at stake. The Medicare fund that pays hospital bills will face a shortfall in 2024. Social Security can pay all promised benefits until about 2036, and after that, it can still pay 75 percent. That’s not good enough, of course, so policy decisions will have to be made.
Your voice matters, because Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of income and health security in retirement for most Floridians 50+. Today’s tough economy has only made these programs more vital. In Florida, nearly 3.7 million residents depend on Social Security benefits to help pay the bills every month, and 3 million-plus count on Medicare to help them afford health care, including guaranteed coverage for doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs.
That’s why we’re going to ensure that you have easy access to information about the programs and the challenges they face, free of Washington spin and jargon. Our website will give you straightforward information and enable you to share your ideas about how to strengthen these programs with Congress and the political candidates.
You can also weigh in directly, right now, on what you think about Social Security and Medicare. Take AARP’s survey on the future of Social Security and Medicare online.
AARP Florida will share summaries of Floridians’ responses to this online questionnaire with members of Congress, political campaigns and others, so everyone can see where you stand.
AARP Florida urges candidates for Congress and the White House to say exactly how they’d change Social Security and Medicare. Voters have a right to know their views, so they can weigh them carefully in evaluating candidates and making the best decisions for themselves and their families.
The next President and Congress could make decisions about the future of Social Security and Medicare that could affect you, your children and your grandchildren – in fact, the entire Sunshine State – for years to come. Washington needs to hear from you and other older Floridians that the future of Medicare and Social Security isn’t just a debate about budget charts and graphs. It’s about people’s lives.
When it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare, you’ve earned a say. Speak up now.
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