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AARP: Kentuckians Have Earned a Say on Medicare, Social Security

March 21, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentuckians are being offered a way to let their voices be heard in the debate on how Medicare and Social Security are being handled in Washington - and whether the programs will be there for seniors in the future.

Starting today, AARP is embarking on its "You've Earned a Say" initiative with community meetings across the state. Tihisha Rawlins, who is coordinating the campaign in Kentucky, says comments from the "average Joe" will be treated as anything but average - and AARP also will share the latest information about efforts in Congress to change Social Security and Medicare.

"So they can know the truth about the programs and their viability and not 'spin,' and be able to come to their own conclusions about what needs to be done with those programs."

The stakes are high in Kentucky, where nearly 895,000 people depend on Social Security and another 767,000 are enrolled in Medicare. More information, including a questionnaire to fill out and locations of the Kentucky meetings, is online at

Too often, Rawlins says, open dialogue hasn't been part of key decisions being made about changes to Medicare and Social Security.

"That conversation is going on behind closed doors, and so what we're trying to do is open that conversation up to the people who will be impacted by these programs, and give them a chance to voice their opinions."

Rawlins says Washington needs a verbal reminder that the programs aren't entitlements.

"They're not 'entitlements.' We earned these benefits and we want to make sure that they're there. We want to strengthen them, and make sure that they are around for current beneficiaries, future beneficiaries, and just on down the line."

More information about the program is online at

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - KY