Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tell Congress your thoughts about health care

We're glad to see a healthy debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare on your opinion pages ("Divided means conquered" on June 13 and "Let's really fix Social Security" on June 27). A debate on these issues has also been going on in Washington and it's time the American people joined in, and makes sure decisions about the programs aren't made without an open conversation.

Earlier this year, AARP launched You've Earned a Say to ensure Americans have a voice in the debate about how to strengthen these programs for our children and grandchildren. As we travel from community to community across Idaho and the nation discussing Medicare and Social Security, one thing is clear: People have a lot to say on these issues and they want to be sure Washington hears them.

I've just returned from Washington, D.C., where I met with Idaho's congressional delegation on Social Security and Medicare. I carried with me the voices and concerns of AARP members across the Gem State. In my conversations with them, I can tell you Idaho's members of Congress are concerned too, ready to listen and prepared to have a national conversation on the future of these important programs.

This is the chance for Idahoans to join the debate and make their voices heard. Already, hundreds of thousands of Americans have filled out questionnaires on these issues, and while not scientific, the results reflect the views of many Americans. In these, 88 percent said they believe Social Security and Medicare may require some combination of more funding or benefit changes. Idahoans have spent their lives paying into these programs and deserve to know what changes are on the table. AARP has made it easy for people to get involved and learn about the proposals being considered in Washington—they can visit to get the facts, read independent analyses, find upcoming events and make their voices heard. The next president and Congress could determine the future of Medicare and Social Security—don't let them do it without hearing from you.

Mark Estess


AARP Idaho


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