More than 450 people attended the formal launch in the Natural State of AARP’s “You’ve Earned a Say” national conversation on Social Security and Medicare.
See also: You’ve Earned a Say Questionnaire
In Arkansas, You’ve Earned a Say kicked off with an AARP Arkansas event at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock. Arkansans from across the state gathered at the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge to learn about AARP’s plans to hold a series of community conversations in the coming months in Arkansas and across the nation on the future of Medicare and Social Security.
AARP Arkansas State President Sherry Walker noted that the history and evolution of the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge mirror the past, present and future of Medicare and Social Security. Originally built in 1899 as a railroad bridge, it is now a pedestrian bridge that connects the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock.
“Like Social Security and Medicare, the bridge has been adapted and changed over the years to meet the changing needs of those who use it,” Walker said. “Social Security, since 1935, and Medicare, since 1965, have been there for our grandparents, our parents and future retirees. AARP wants to get your ideas on how Social Security and Medicare can best be equipped to continue to be there, for today’s generation and future generations.”
AARP Arkansas State Director Maria Reynolds-Diaz explained how a group of Arkansans assembled in front of the bridge exemplified how Medicare and Social Security are important to multiple generations. Generations represented were the Silent Generation (those born between 1925 and 1945); the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964); and generations born starting in the mid-1960s (Generation X); the early 1980s (Generation Y); and the mid 1990s (Generation Z).
“AARP Arkansas looks forward to hearing from Arkansans and helping them make their voices heard,” Diaz said. “AARP is working to ensure Americans have a voice in any debate about the future of Medicare and Social Security.”
In Arkansas, 635,041 people receive Social Security benefits that they earned throughout their working lives. Of those, more than 635,000 Arkansans, 63 percent rely on Social Security for at least 50 percent of their income. And 36 percent rely on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income. Similarly, 536,817 Arkansans currently are enrolled in Medicare and have earned the benefits that they receive.
You’ve Earned a Say will work to get Washington to listen to how different proposals would affect millions of Americans so we can protect and strengthen health and retirement security for today’s seniors and future generations.
Stay up to date on You’ve Earned a Say community conversations and other key issues affecting Arkansans 50+ by checking our blog, “liking” our Facebook page, and following us on Twitter.