AARP Launches National Conversation on Health and Retirement Security

Mar 19, 2012, 12:37 ET from AARP Illinois


'You've Earned a Say' Gives Illinoisans a Platform to Make Their Voices Heard in Debate About Medicare, Social Security

CHICAGO, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, AARP 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.

In Illinois, AARP launched an ongoing listening tour that will give AARP members and the public an opportunity to make their voices heard about the future of Medicare and Social Security.

"Conversations about you should include you," said Ryan Gruenenfelder, Associate State Director with AARP Illinois.  "Illinoisans have paid into Medicare and Social Security throughout their working lives, and they have earned a say in the future of these programs.  That's why we are committed to ensuring that Illinoisans can make their voices heard in the debate."

In 2010, over 1.5 million Illinois seniors relied on Medicare for health care coverage and 1.4 million Illinois seniors relied on Social Security income. In a national 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.

"We want to give Illinoisans a way to speak out and be heard," said Gruenenfelder.  "We also believe that Illinoisans have earned the right to receive clear and balanced information about the programs and the proposals being debated in Washington.  We need to make sure that all Illinoisans have the facts."

You've Earned a Say will amplify the voices of Illinoisans by:

  • Holding community conversations across the state.
  • 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.

For more information, visit