Californians Have Their Say on Social Security and Medicare

AARP's You've Earned a Say delivers questionnaire results and statements from voters to candidates and lawmakers

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Election Day just a few weeks away, AARP California volunteers are beginning  to deliver a report entitled "Californians Have Their Say about Medicare and Social Security" to California Members of Congress and congressional candidates.  

The report conveys the opinions of more than 47,000 Californians 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 in every state, as well as sitting lawmakers, so they can hear directly from Americans about strengthening these vital programs. 

"Through You've Earned a Say, we've heard from voters across California who think that when it comes to Medicare and Social Security, Washington isn't listening," said AARP California State President David Pacheco. "With these reports, we are helping Californians make their voices heard with candidates and lawmakers."

"People of all ages and across party lines believe Medicare and Social Security are critical to the health and retirement security of older Americans and yet all voters are hearing from the candidates about these programs are attack ads and 30-second sound bites," continued David Pacheco.   "The next President and Congress could determine the future of Social Security and Medicare. Voters want and deserve to know where the candidates stand."

AARP California has sponsored two congressional debates this year.  On October 3, AARP cosponsored a debate between congressional candidates John Tavaglione and Mark Takano for CA's 41st district.  In California congressional district 26 AARP members stayed by their phones to listen and ask questions of our Oct. 9 teleforum debate between candidates Tony Strickland and Julie Brownley.

Through the reports, debate sponsorship activities, and ongoing You've Earned a Say events, AARP is working to elevate the voices of California 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.

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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