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Live Senate Debate: Older Ohioans Want Answers on Retirement Security

PHOTO: Picture of Mike Barnhart. Courtesy AARP Ohio.
PHOTO: Picture of Mike Barnhart. Courtesy AARP Ohio.
October 25, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and his Republican challenger, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, square off tonight in a live televised debate. AARP Ohio is sponsoring the event, and state president Mike Barnhart says it's a good opportunity for voters to hear the candidates explain where they stand on the vital issues that will be decided by the next Congress.

He says his organization’s members are particularly interested in getting answers on Medicare and Social Security.

"We'd like them to get serious about how they propose to strengthen Medicare and Social Security for the future - not only for people who may be using it currently, but also for their children and grandchildren."

Barnhart says AARP has learned about what issues are most important to its members and older voters from their "You've Earned a Say" listening sessions. According to a report of results, three-fourths of Ohioans say all future retirees should continue to get the same guaranteed Medicare coverage and care as seniors get now.

Brown and Mandel also need to let Ohioans know how they will protect today's seniors and future retirees from the burden of rising health costs, Barnhart says. With retirement and finances a top priority for many, he says the candidates should also explain how they can help older Ohioans build a financial nest egg for their retirement.

"These folks are struggling out there and they need some assurance that this economy is going to start growing and they're going to be able to find some employment, even if it's part time, to help supplement some of the cost of living that they're facing."

Barnhart encourages Ohioans to watch the debate and learn more about the candidates’ positions so they can make the best decision for themselves when they go to the polls. AARP has the results of the "You've Earned a Say" surveys available at earnedasay.org.

The debate will air from 7 to 8 p.m. on all nine NBC TV affiliates across Ohio: WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati, WKYC-TV Channel 3 in Cleveland, WCMH-TV Channel 4 in Columbus, WDTN Channel 2 in Dayton, WLIO Channel 8 in Lima, WTOV-TV Channel 9 in Steubenville, WNWO Channel 24 in Toledo, WFMJ-TV Channel 21 in Youngstown and WHIZ-TV Channel 18 in Zanesville.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH