Health and Fitness

AARP Launches National Conversation on Health and Retirement Security

‘You’ve Earned a Say’ gives Americans a platform to make their voices heard in debate about Medicare, Social Security

RICHMOND, VA–(ENEWSPF)–March 20, 2012.  AARP leaders at events across the country yesterday announced 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 all Americans have a voice in the discussion about their future.

“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 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. 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 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, 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. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.