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How Would you Keep Social Security, Medicare Strong?

Florida voters 50+ had been looking for specifics from the presidential candidates on the future of Medicare and Social Security all year, without success. By a two-to-one margin or more, older Sunshine State voters told AARP that the candidates were doing a not so good or poor job of explaining their positions on these two critical programs.

See Also: AARP Voters’ Guide

Then GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney named U.S. House Budget Chair Paul Ryan, R-WI., as his running mate. Suddenly, the 2012 presidential election seemed to focus squarely on proposals to change Medicare – an issue about which older Florida voters had been hungrily seeking information, according to a recent AARP survey.

In the AARP Florida poll, more than six in 10 Florida voters age 50 and older said information about presidential candidates’ plans for Medicare and Social Security would help them make up their minds how to vote in November.

Huge majorities of both major parties’ voters, as well as independents, also agreed that finding long-term solutions for Social Security and Medicare was too big a problem for either major party to solve alone.

Some 93 percent of Democrats, 91 percent of independents and 88 percent of Republicans said that Republicans and Democrats need to come together to find a solution to strengthen Social Security and Medicare for future generations. The poll, which surveyed 505 Florida registered voters, was expected to be accurate to within plus or minus 4.4 percent.

To bring the conversation on Washington’s plans to change Social Security and Medicare out from behind closed doors, earlier this year AARP launched You’ve Earned a Say, a national conversation on both programs.

Since March, AARP Florida volunteers and staff have conducted nearly 300 in-person events, contacted hundreds of thousands of AARP members via e-newsletters and talked to thousands of AARP members in Tele-town Halls so far this year, explaining in detail the proposals in Washington to change Social Security and Medicare.

The core of AARP’s effort is a groundbreaking effort to provide straight talk about the pros and cons of all major proposals to change Medicare and Social Security, without the insider jargon and political spin that permeates so much of today’s political discourse.
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