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Maryland's Guide to Election 2012

Candidates' views on Social Security, Medicare, financial security

Before stepping into the voting booth, Annette Thompson, 72, of Gaithersburg, wants to be very clear where candidates stand on issues that affect her financial security.

Join AARP and MPT for the 6th Congressional District Debate between Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett and Democratic challenger John Delaney. For details click here [pdf]

Annette Thompson, will listen carefully to candidates views on Social Security and Medicare before voting

Gaithersburg voter Annette Thompson, 72, will listen carefully to candidates' views before deciding how to vote. — Melissa Golden

To help her and other state residents prepare for their Nov. 6 ballot-box decisions, AARP Maryland has developed a voters' guide for the U.S. Senate race and eight U.S. House races.

"There is a concern that Social Security will not stay solvent and that Medicare benefits will be disturbed," said Thompson, president of the AARP Gaithersburg chapter.

Benefit projections
Medicare trustees predict that without changes the fund that helps pay for hospital costs will be exhausted in 2024.

Social Security trustees project that the program can pay 100 percent of benefits only through 2033. After that, the payout to beneficiaries would drop to about 75 percent.

After the election, federal officials are expected to address various proposals for changes to the programs.

They include increasing the amount of income subject to the payroll tax that finances most of Social Security and some of Medicare, reducing benefits, increasing the eligibility age for both programs, reducing the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries and raising the Medicare premium for higher-income enrollees.

"I think the election will be very important in terms of financial security and the economic direction of our nation," Thompson said.

The voters' guide includes statements from candidates' websites, news releases and public remarks that address how they would:

  • Protect Social Security for current beneficiaries and strengthen it for future generations.
  • Put Medicare on stronger financial ground and protect current and future enrollees from the burden of rising health costs.

Next: Maryland congressional race debate set for Oct. 28. »

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