By Jeff Johnson
Florida famously has the highest percentage of residents age 65+ in America. More than 3 million get health care coverage through Medicare, and 3.7 million are receiving the Social Security benefits they earned.
But during Florida’s recent Republican presidential primary, Floridians 50+ only got brief glimpses of the candidates’ stand on strengthening and protecting Social Security and Medicare. There were no questions on these critical issues in either Florida televised debate, President Obama largely skirted the issues in his State of the Union address, and candidates kept their discussion on the campaign trail to a handful of vague sound bites.
That’s not good enough. You’ve worked hard for your Social Security and Medicare. You’ve earned the right to know how candidates will protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations.
That’s why AARP will work to make your voice heard on these issues in coming months. Through surveys, town hall meetings, debates and information forums, AARP will spend the next year listening to Florida voters and will give them straightforward information – both the pros and cons, without the political jargon and spin – about different proposals Washington and the candidates are supporting.
We’re calling this initiative “You Earned A Say.”
Starting in mid-March, AARP will hold hundreds of town halls from Pensacola to the Keys. At these events, we’ll hear your ideas about the future of Social Security and Medicare. Through surveys, petitions and questionnaires, AARP will help you make your voice heard about the health and retirement security you’ve earned. Both online and in your community, we’ll gather your thoughts, answer your questions and work to make your voice heard.
To stay up to date on AARP’s work on You Earned A Say, please check up on the latest information at www.aarp.org/fl or call us at 1-866-595-7678 toll-free during business hours. And most important, keep pressing candidates for President and Congress for specific answers on these very important questions. Make them tell you what they’ve got in mind – you’ve earned it.
Jeff Johnson is AARP’s Florida state director.