Join Date: 04/06/2010
Copied below is a letter to the editor submitted to the Delaware State News. You can post your opinions by clicking on "Reply."
A voice has been missing from the political debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare – yours.
AARP wants to fix that.
For more than a year, the president and Congress have been talking about changes to Medicare and Social Security as part of a budget deal without any discussion about how any changes would affect you and your family. Starting today, we’re taking the debate out from behind the closed doors in Washington, and launching You’ve Earned a Say – a national conversation to ensure you and the people of Delaware have a say in the future of Medicare and Social Security.
We call the effort “You’ve Earned a Say,” because you’ve earned your benefits by paying into Social Security and Medicare for years, and you deserve to know what changes politicians are putting on the table, so you can speak out about how they would affect you and your family. In the coming months, AARP will sponsor town halls, community conversations, debates, webcasts, bus tours and other events – all with the goal of giving you a chance to state your views and offer ideas about how to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for the long haul.
If you are wondering why you should join this conversation, it is because your health and retirement security are at stake. Medicare is facing financial challenges, especially due to ever-rising costs in the broader health care system. More specifically, the Medicare fund that pays hospital bills will face a shortfall in 2024. Social Security can pay all promised benefits until about 2036, and after that, it can still pay 75 percent. That’s not good enough, however, so policy decisions will have to be made.
Your voice matters, because Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of income and health security in retirement for most Americans – a role that has become even more important in today’s tough economy. In Delaware, one in five residents depend on Social Security benefits to help pay the bills every month, and nearly 140,000 count on Medicare to help them afford health care, including guaranteed coverage for doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs.
That’s why we’re going to ensure that you have easy access to information about the programs and the challenges they face, free of Washington spin and jargon. Our website www.earnedasay.org will give you straightforward information and enable you to share your ideas about how to strengthen these programs with Congress and the political candidates.
This dialogue takes on extra meaning in an election year. We urge candidates for Congress and the White House to be forthcoming about their plans for Social Security and Medicare. Voters have a right to know their views, so they can weigh them carefully in evaluating candidates and making the best decisions for themselves and their families.
The next president and Congress could make decisions about the future of Social Security and Medicare that could affect you and your family for years to come.
That’s why we need a national conversation – now. Whatever the politicians propose, they need to hear how it would impact you and your family.Washington needs to hear from you and the people of Delaware that the future of Medicare and Social Security isn’t just a debate about budget numbers; it is a debate about people’s lives.
You also can show that it’s possible to discuss important issues without all the partisan bickering and posturing we’ve come to expect from Washington. All Americans have an interest in keeping Social Security and Medicare strong for our children and grandchildren. All Americans should have the chance to hear the facts and speak their minds.
AARP is working to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear. When it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare, you’ve earned a say.
Associate State Director/Communications
AARP Delaware State Office