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You’ve Earned a Say

Online Chat: The Future of Medicare and Social Security

Missed the July 27 conversation? Read the transcript

David Certner, AARP:  For the last two years, lawmakers in Washington have been talking behind closed doors about the future of Medicare and Social Security. In March, AARP launched You’ve Earned a Say — a national conversation about the future of Social Security and Medicare.

We’re giving people information about the major options on the table in Washington, both the pros and cons, without all the political jargon and spin. If you go to our website,, you’ll find an analysis of the major Social Security and Medicare options by experts who represent both sides of the political spectrum.

You will also find tools that will allow you to choose which options you’d choose to strengthen Medicare and Social Security and the option to share your choices with your members of Congress and the presidential candidates.

We want to make sure that no decisions are made without a national dialogue that listens to and involves the public. As we've said many times, you've earned a say.

Comment From Guest: What can you tell us about the 'means testing' whereby depending on your personal wealth your earned Social Security benefits would be reduced or eliminated. This just simply does not seem fair since you earned the payout during your working years.

David Certner, AARP:  Means Testing is an option being discussed in Washington that would reduce Social Security benefits based on a family’s wealth or income. Some folks argue that reducing benefits for the “wealthy” should be part of any changes made to the program to close Social Security’s funding gap.

But you raise a good point — eliminating the benefits of anyone who has paid into the program over their working life violates the principle that these are an earned benefit. For a full discussion of this proposal and others — including the arguments for and against — check out AARP’s website

Comment From James Straka: For seniors, who is the better choice for president?

David Certner, AARP:  Thanks, James. AARP is committed to helping you get the facts you need to choose candidates who reflect your values. We’re nonpartisan — we don’t support or oppose any political candidates or contribute any money to campaigns or political action committees.

Our priority is ensuring you know where the candidates stand before you cast your vote.

Next: How to get the "You've Earned A Say" message to Congress to strengthen these programs for future generations? »

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