SD Weighs In On Protecting Medicare, Social Security
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - This summer, there will be another chance for South Dakotans to weigh in on the future of Medicare and Social Security. Last year, members of AARP South Dakota held meetings in each of the state's 66 counties as part of their "You've Earned a Say" campaign.
According to the group's associate state advocacy director, Erik Nelson, they're doing it again this summer, and now they want to hear how people feel about the changes that are more recently being discussed for Social Security and Medicare.
"We'll have to have a conversation and get some feedback about 'chained CPI' proposals for Social Security and the idea of raising the age of Medicare eligibility up to 67," he said. "We don't think those are the right proposals at the right time for either of those programs. And we'll have some good reasons to give, and be looking for some good feedback."
There is some talk that Social Security should be included in the negotiations over the federal deficit. Nelson said AARP doesn't think that is necessary.
"A lot of this is centered around the debate of our deficit as a country, and we just don't feel Social Security should be used in this conversation," he said. "We agree that there needs to be a separate conversation to make Social Security solvent for the next number of years, but it shouldn't be used as a way to solve our country's deficit problem."
The meetings will be in 11 South Dakota towns this summer, with the first stop this Thursday in Sioux Falls, at the Center for Active Generations at 1 p.m.
Nelson said people who attend the meetings will be asked to help them form consensus on both Medicare and Social Security.
"We will have a petition as part of our program about Social Security and Medicare and some of the proposals to it that we will present to our attendees and ask them to sign," he said. "And ultimately, we will share those positions and the feedback that we get with our national office, and I think petitions will be sent to our congressional delegation."
The final meeting in the series will be held in Rapid City in late July.