En español | In my last column, I called for a national conversation on the future of Social Security and Medicare. Since then, many of our members have told us that they want to have this conversation and they are looking to AARP to lead it. As one AARP member said, "If AARP doesn't take the lead on Social Security and Medicare, who will? There is no one else."
That's why You've Earned a Say, a national conversation to ensure that Americans like you have a say in the future of Social Security and Medicare.
I think we all know that Social Security and Medicare need to be protected and strengthened. More important, we can't continue to allow the politicians in Washington to debate these issues behind closed doors. It's time to give a voice to people who have a vital interest in the future of these programs as well as to those who earned their Medicare and Social Security benefits with a lifetime of hard work.
Any discussion about the future of Social Security and Medicare needs to be based on a clear understanding of the current status and future needs of these vital programs. It needs to recognize the critical role that Medicare and Social Security play in the health and financial security of older Americans. And it starts with the knowledge of how changes would affect the health and financial security of older Americans — today and tomorrow.
At AARP, we believe that You've Earned a Say, and we want to make sure your voice is heard. We will give Americans who think Washington isn't listening a way to speak out, a way to tell politicians what should be done to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for future generations.
We will listen to your views — through surveys, local town hall meetings and community conversations. We will tell decision makers in Washington what's on your mind.
You've Earned a Say is also about making sure that AARP members and all Americans receive clear, balanced and unbiased information. In these days of political spin, we believe it is important for all Americans to have the facts.
AARP will help Americans understand why Medicare and Social Security need to be strengthened. We will also provide you with information about proposals politicians are putting on the table — with the pros and the cons — and without all the political jargon and spin. And we will help you understand the consequences of those proposed changes, both for individuals and society.
In this election year, we will hear plenty of Social Security and Medicare debates. We need to ask policymakers the tough questions and hold politicians accountable for their views on these two pillars of retirement security. The next president and the next Congress may well determine the future of Social Security and Medicare. And you deserve to know where they stand.
As a citizen, as an AARP member and as part of our 50-plus cohort who has paid into Social Security and Medicare throughout your working life, you've earned the right to have your voice heard so we can protect today's seniors and keep Medicare and Social Security strong for future generations. Now it's your turn — You've Earned a Say!