AARP announced the launch of You've Earned a Say, a national conversation about strengthening health and retirement security. Through You've Earned a Say, AARP says it is taking the debate about Medicare and Social Security out from behind closed doors in Washington and making sure that all Americans have a voice in the discussion about their future.

"Instead of talking about Medicare and Social Security as line items in the federal budget, Washington should be talking about how to strengthen health and retirement security and ensuring Americans have a voice in the debate," said AARP CEO A. Barry Rand. "Our members and older Americans have paid into Medicare and Social Security throughout their working lives, and they have earned a say in the future of these programs."

You've Earned a Say campaign will:

  • Hold community conversations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
  • Distribute a series of You've Earned a Say questionnaires and publish the results on www.earnedasay.org, through AARP publications, and in state-specific summary reports
  • Help people to share their ideas directly with their members of Congress and the presidential candidates on www.earnedasay.org.
  • Host opportunities around the country for people to record their thoughts on why Medicare and Social Security are important to older Americans and their loved ones
  • Create a map of the United States that features video footage from all the You've Earned a Say conversations taking place around the country

In a survey outlining some of the challenges facing the programs in the coming years, 98 percent of respondents said Medicare is important to people's health in retirement, but only 54 percent are confident it will be there for them throughout their retirement. Similarly, 96 percent believe Social Security is important to people's financial security in retirement, but only 49 percent are confident it will be there for them.

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