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AARP Program to Draw Seniors into Conversation on Medicare, Social Security

'You’ve Earned a Say’ gives platform for older Americans who have paid into these programs to have a say in their future - see video

See video belowMarch 19, 2012 - AARP leaders at events across the country today announced the launch of You’ve Earned a Say, which the organizations describes as a national conversation about strengthening health and retirement security. AARP says this program 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.


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“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.”

Citing research showing that 95 percent of Americans think Washington should spend more time listening to ordinary citizens like them when it comes to decisions about Social Security and Medicare, AARP Executive Vice President Nancy A. LeaMond outlined a variety of activities through which You’ve Earned a Say will help Americans make their voices heard.

“We want to give Americans a way to speak out and be heard,” LeaMond said. “And we’re committed to making You’ve Earned a Say an inclusive conversation with our members and adults of all ages.”

You’ve Earned a Say will amplify the voices of Americans by:

   Holding community conversations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

   Distributing a series of You’ve Earned a Say questionnaires and publishing the results on, through AARP publications, and in state-specific summary reports.

   Helping people to share their ideas directly with their members of Congress and the presidential candidates on

   Hosting 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.

   Creating a map of the United States that features video footage from all the You’ve Earned a Say conversations taking place around the country.

A national television advertising schedule for You’ve Earned a Say begins running today on network, cable news and lifestyle channels.

“You’ve Earned a Say is also about making sure that all Americans receive clear and balanced information about the programs and the proposals being debated in Washington,” Rand continued. “We need to make sure that all Americans have the facts.”

Emphasizing the importance of Medicare and Social Security to older Americans, Rand and LeaMond outlined some of the challenges facing the programs in the coming years.

In the survey released today, 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.

“Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of retirement security for millions of Americans,” Rand concluded. “By working together, getting involved and making our voices heard, we can keep Social Security and Medicare strong for today and for future generations.”

AARP says it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

>> For more information, visit


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