‘You’ve Earned a Say’ Raises Voters’ Voices: Social Security and Medicare Must be Strengthened

AARP petitions, reports, and pre-debate activities urge candidates to lay out specific plans for retirement security 

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–October 2, 2012.  With Election Day just five weeks away and the first Presidential debate tomorrow, AARP volunteers delivered more than 200,000 petitions along with a report entitled “Americans Have Their Say about Medicare and Social Security” to both the Democratic and Republican National Committees today.  The petitions call upon President Obama and Governor Romney to give voters straight talk about what they would do to put Medicare and Social Security on stable ground for the future. 

The report conveys the opinions of more than two million people who have participated in You’ve Earned a Say – a national conversation about how to protect Social Security and Medicare for today’s seniors and strengthen them for future generations. National and state-specific versions of the report will be delivered to presidential and congressional candidates, as well as sitting lawmakers, so they can hear directly from Americans about strengthening these vital programs. 

“Through You’ve Earned a Say, we have spent this year making sure that Americans who have earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits over a lifetime of hard work have a voice in any conversation about the future of these programs,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “With these petitions and reports, we are letting candidates and lawmakers know where Americans stand. The upcoming debates offer a critical opportunity for candidates to give voters straight answers about what their plans would mean for Americans and their families.”

AARP is sponsoring a series of activities around the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate debates this month to bring attention to the issues important to 50-plus voters. Debate festivals, listening sessions, intergenerational conversations and debate watch parties will take place at the sites of the debates in Denver, Colorado; Danville, Kentucky; Hempstead, New York; and Boca Raton, Florida. AARP is also sponsoring more than 40 Congressional and gubernatorial debates around the country.

“People of all ages and across party lines believe Medicare and Social Security are critical to the health and retirement security of older Americans,” continued LeaMond. “The next President and Congress could determine the future of Social Security and Medicare. Voters want and deserve to know where the candidates stand.”

Through the reports, petitions, debate sponsorship activities, and ongoing You’ve Earned a Say events, AARP is working to elevate the voices of American voters and provide them with nonpartisan information about candidates’ positions on issues important to Americans 50 and older. In August, AARP launched the “You’ve Earned a Say: Vote for Retirement Security” 2012 Voters’ Guides featuring information from presidential, senatorial and congressional candidates – in their own words – on their plans to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and financial security.

Earlier in this summer, AARP released a series of surveys on the opinions of voters ages 50 and over, which found that these voters overwhelmingly think the candidates have not done a good job of explaining their plans on Social Security (67%) and Medicare (63%). Voters 50-plus – across party lines – say that getting more information on the candidates’ plans on Social Security (72%) and Medicare (70%) will help them determine their vote on Election Day.

For more information, please visit www.earnedasay.org

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world’s largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

Source: aarp.org