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Wyoming has Earned a Say

In March, AARP launched You’ve Earned a Say – a national conversation about how to protect Medicare and Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthen them for future generations.

See Also: You’ve Earned a Say

Throughout You’ve Earned a Say, we’re consistently hearing in cities and towns across America that people of all ages and across party lines believe Medicare and Social Security are critical to the health and retirement security of seniors. They believe the programs should be strengthened so future generations have affordable health care and a foundation of income when they retire.

Overwhelmingly, Wyoming residents responding to “You’ve Earned a Say” questionnaires this year have said that changes must be made to Medicare and Social Security to preserve them for future generations. Nearly two-thirds (71%) said wealthy seniors, with more than $250,000 a year of income, have other sources of retirement income and should get less – maybe nothing – from Social Security so we can make the program stronger for everyone else, and even more (73%) said all future retirees should continue to get guaranteed coverage and care as seniors do now under Medicare.

Here are some comments about the future of Medicare and Social Security from Wyoming residents in their own words:

“I need it, I have earned it, and my children need it. The government has no real right to change it.” – Mona, Lovell

“Social Security should be untouched. The government needs to live within its means. We all need to spend less than we earn. We need to be debt-free and self- reliantperiod.” – Marion, Thermopolis

“They are NOT entitlements. We paid for them by our labor. If that trust money is not available now for these programs, the government should strengthen them.” – Patricia, Gillette

“I believe changes are in order. I am very much in favor of a ‘means testing’ program, especially as regarding Medicare. The problem, as always, is how to structure it.” – Amos, Powell

“It is clear from the recent recession and the inability of ordinary citizens to benefit from either the stock market or interest from savings, that few Americans can secure a retirement future.” – Donald, Laramie

Some facts that you might not know:

  • Nearly 67,000 Wyoming residents age 65 and older received Social Security in 2011 with the average annual benefit being only $14,100. Social Security provides more than half of a typical older Wyoming resident’s monthly income.
  • Nearly 96 percent of older Wyoming seniors, or 69,578, were enrolled in Medicare in 2011. Medicare provides guaranteed health coverage and peace of mind for Wyoming seniors

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