Most Idahoans Worried About Future Of Social Security & Medicare

Jul 31, 2012, 12:10 ET from AARP Idaho

AARP Finds Gem Staters Say Changes Needed to Programs "You've Earned a Say" Aims to Listen to Members & Learn Where They Stand on Proposed Changes

BOISE, Idaho, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- They are some of the hottest issues not on the Presidential campaign trail, but the future of Social Security and Medicare are definitely on the minds of many Idahoans. 

According to the results of a new questionnaire of nearly 3,000 Idahoans, released by AARP Idaho today, most are of the mindset that Social Security and Medicare are in need of major changes and with many not expecting to get back what they've paid in. The majority want to make their voices heard when it comes to proposed changes to the programs, but don't think it will make a difference – AARP is working to make sure that's not the case. 

The Association has launched "You've Earned a Say" (www.earnedasay.org) to make sure AARP members and all Americans have a voice in the future of Social Security and Medicare. As part of "You've Earned a Say," AARP is traveling throughout Idaho and the nation, meeting with members, community leaders and the general public to discuss the pros and cons of Social Security and Medicare options currently on the table in Washington, D.C., learn where people stand and bring their perspectives and opinions to the debate over the future of these important programs.

"As we hear from our members and the public throughout Idaho, one thing is very clear: they want Social Security and Medicare kept strong for their children and grandchildren, but many also recognize some changes will be needed to make that happen," said Mark Estess, State Director for AARP in Idaho.  "Our efforts are focused on helping our members understand the current public policy options on the table in Washington and the pros and cons, learning where they stand on those proposals and bringing their thoughts and concerns to the debate."

Though it was not a scientific survey, AARP's "You've Earned a Say" questionnaire of 2,886 Idahoans found:

  • 26% think Social Security needs major changes, 20% feel it's in a state of crisis (26% think it needs minor changes and 26% think it's okay as is).
  • 33% believe Medicare needs major changes, while 18% think the program is in a state of crisis (25% say it'll need minor changes and 21% feel it's okay as is).
  • 30% expect to get back less than they've paid into the programs, 40% expect to get back the same, while 29% believe they'll get more.
  • 34% say Social Security and Medicare will need more funding to maintain the same benefits, 10% believe benefits for the programs will be reduced (42% say either will likely occur).
  • 51% want to make their voices heard on changes made to the programs, but don't think what they say will make any difference in the debate.

"The results from this questionnaire show there is clear concern among Idahoans about the future of Social Security and Medicare - AARP is listening and working to keep the programs strong for future generations," added Estess.  "Idahoans have earned a say in the future of Social Security and Medicare – and we're working to make sure they have a voice in the process."

"You've Earned a Say" has already engaged over one million Americans in these discussions, both in Idaho and across the nation.  AARP Idaho is inviting members and the public to share their thoughts at town hall meetings, community conversations and other "You've Earned a Say" events across the Gem State. People will be able to share their ideas directly with members of Congress and the presidential and congressional candidates on www.earnedasay.org.

This questionnaire is the first of three that will be coming from "You've Earned a Say" efforts.  The questionnaire was conducted on-line and in-person at community forums and events in Boise, Nampa, Pocatello, Lewiston, Moscow, Coeur d'Alene, Caldwell, Sandpoint, Post Falls and Mountain Home this year. While it is not a scientific survey of AARP Idaho members or the 50+ in the state, it reflects the opinions of the people who filled out the "You've Earned a Say" questionnaires.  The full Idaho results can be found at online at www.earnedasay.org (http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-07-2012/yeas-state-questionnaire-results.html). 

AARP has 180,000 members in Idaho.

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About AARP
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 nearly 35 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.org. 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.

SOURCE AARP Idaho



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