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AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons Says Voice Missing in Social Security & Medicare Debate

A message from AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons

A voice has been missing from the political debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare – yours.

For more than a year, the President and Congress have been talking about changes to Medicare and Social Security as part of a budget deal without any discussion about how any changes would affect you and your family. AARP is taking the debate out from behind the closed doors in Washington, D.C. and launching You’ve Earned a Say – a national conversation to ensure you and the people of Oklahoma have a say in the future of Medicare and Social Security.

In fact, we launched You’ve Earned a Say with a conversation in Washington, Oklahoma because we thought it was time the politicians knew what people were saying in the real Washington.

We call the effort “You’ve Earned 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, so you can speak out about how they would affect you and your family. In the coming months, AARP will sponsor town halls, community conversations, debates, webcasts, 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.

If you are wondering why you should join this conversation, it is because your health and retirement security are at stake. Medicare is facing financial challenges, especially due to ever-rising costs in the broader health care system. More specifically, the Medicare fund that pays hospital bills will face a shortfall in 2024. Social Security can pay all promised benefits for approximately 20 years, and after that, it can still pay 75%. That’s not good enough, however, 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 Americans – a role that has become even more important in today’s tough economy. In Oklahoma, 407,195 residents depend on Social Security benefits to help pay the bills every month, and 607,465 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. The You’ve Earned a Say 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 call our toll-free number to answer a questionnaire at 1-866-295-7277.

AARP Oklahoma is working to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear. When it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare, you’ve earned a say.
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