'Today, at a town hall meeting in Pocatello, AARP state and national leaders are set to announce the launch of You've Earned a Say, a national conversation about strengthening health and retirement security. Through You've Earned a Say, AARP is taking the debate about Medicare and Social Security out from behind closed doors in Washington and making sure that Idahoans and all Americans have a voice in the discussion about their future.
AARP members from across Eastern Idaho will gather for the town hall to make their views known and their voices heard when it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare. As part of the nationwide launch of You've Earned a Say, similar events are being held in every state, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
"From Pocatello to Coeur d'Alene, and everywhere in between, we're going to spend the next year working to ensure Idahoans have a voice in this debate and that Washington is listening," said Angela Cortez, interim State Director for AARP in Idaho. "Our members in Idaho and across the nation have paid into Medicare and Social Security throughout their working lives, and they have earned a say in the future of these programs."
According to an AARP survey released today, 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 (full survey can be found at www.earnedasay.org).
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 www.earnedasay.org, 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 www.earnedasay.org.
- 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.
"Idahoans deserve to know what politicians are putting on the table when it comes to Social Security and Medicare - You've Earned a Say is about making sure that happens," said Cortez. "We're providing straightforward information about the proposals being debated in Washington, without the political jargon and spin."
The new survey also found that 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.