AARP launched a national conversation about health and financial security.

| March 26, 2012

You’ve Earn a Say gives Florida residents a platform to make their voices heard in the debate on Medicare and Social Security.

By Antonella Stelluto

 In front an audience of over 100 community leaders and media members, AARP launched You’ve Earn a Say, a new chapter in the debate of public policy in the United States.

The facilities of Intercontinental Hotel at Doral were the scenery in which this National conversation took place.

You’ve Earn a Say, name of this campaign, is an open dialogue on strengthening the health and retirement security.

AARP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people over 50 years old to improve their quality of life.

Through this campaign, AARP is opening the debate on Medicare and Social Security, which is usually done behind closed doors in Washington, and is ensuring that all citizens can be participants in this discussion about its future.

“Instead of talking about Medicare and Social Security as lime items in the federal budget, Washington should be talking about how to strengthen health and retirement, and ensuring Americans have a say in the debate,” said AARP CEO A. Barry Rand at the event in Virginia. “Our members and older Americans have contributed to Medicare and Social Security throughout their working lives and have earned the right to speak about the future of these programs.”

Citing research shows that 95 percent of Americans believe that Washington should spend more time listening to the views of ordinary citizens when it comes to decisions regarding Social Security and Medicare.

AARP Executive Vice President, Nancy A. LeaMond, described several activities through which You’ve Earn a Say will help Americans to make their voices heard.

“We want to give Americans a way to speak out and be heard,” said LeaMond.

“And we are committed to making Your Earn a Say an inclusive conversation with our partners and adults of all ages.”

In Florida, about 97 percent of people who were surveyed said that Medicare is important for health in retirement, while 96 percent said Social Security is important for financial security in retirement.  Over 50 percent of Floridians over 18 years, expect both Medicare and Social Security are in place for when they retire.

Regarding the Hispanic community, 21 percent are not sure they can count on Medicare, while 22 percent maintained the same view about Social Security.

Martha Diaz, one of the guests at the Miami’s conversation, spoke about her concerns regarding these two issues. Diaz explained that she spent 20 years working with a food catering company until she was fired in 2005. Aside of being removed from her position, Diaz not only lost her main supply of income but she also lost her benefits such as health insurance among others. Diaz, who is just 55, and not yet eligible for retirement, fears to be waiting for a benefit that may never come.

Cuqui Firvida, is also another guests that has let her voice to be heard. She was concern about the steady cost increase of Medicare and medical supplies. The Lady who was a cancer patient explained how Medicare only covered the first 6 months of medical expenses. From that moment on, her pharmacist told her that Medicare would not cover the kind of medicine she was taking. Thereafter, she was forced to pay out of pockets $360 a month to cover the expenses in medicines.

“Added to this, nine months ago I was fired from my job. I’m still not retired because I consider myself an active person, however, many jobs do not hire me for being considered old, “she said. “Yet, every month I have to pay the hospital bills as well as the checkups I need to do every three months.”

As these two ladies, there are many others similar cases not only in Florida but also across the nation, of people who expect the government give them the benefits when they retire.

“You’ve Earn a Say is also about making sure that all Americans receive clear and balanced information about the programs and the proposals being debated in Washington,” said Rand. “Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of retirement security for millions of Americans. By working together, participate and make our voices heard, we can make Social Security and Medicare will remain strong for current and future generations.”

Erika Ruiz and Maria Celeste Arraras

Maria Celeste Arraras, recognized Hispanic female journalist and host of Al Rojo Vivo was invited as a spokesperson for this initiative in Florida. “The Medicare and Social Security are important issues for to the community. When you give the problem a face as, for instance, the lady who cannot get a job because of her age and consequently what she has saved it is almost gone in medicines, is when [we] realize that it is a problem that affects us all,” said Arraras. “We must change the culture of consumerism and teach our children early on in life to making savings and not rely on the government.”

 Meanwhile Erika Ruiz, AARP volunteer and contributor of the event was pleased with the results obtained with the launch of this campaign. “We are extremely pleased with Hispanic participation we had today. AARP is a nonprofit organization, the largest in the country, and despite this fact only three million Hispanics are members of the association,” said Ruiz. “Today it is about Social Security and Medicare, tomorrow will be about universities [but] we must participate in all events of concern to the community.”

 —————— En Español ——————-

 AARP lanza conversación nacional sobre salud y seguridad financiera.

 Tu Voz es Tu Derecho propone a los residentes de la Florida una plataforma para que sus voces sean escuchadas en el debate sobre Medicare y el Seguro Social

Por Antonella Stelluto

Ante una audiencia de más de 100 líderes comunitarios y miembros de la prensa, AARP inició Tu Voz es Tu Derecho, un nuevo capítulo en el debate de la política pública de los Estados Unidos.

Las instalaciones del Hotel Intercontinental en el Doral sirvieron de escenario para que esta conversación de carácter nacional se llevase a cabo.

Tu voz es Tu Derecho, nombre de esta campaña, es una diálogo abierto sobre el fortalecimiento de la salud y la seguridad durante la jubilación.

A través de esta campaña, AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a ayudar a personas mayores de 50 años a mejorar su calidad de vida, está por primera vez abriendo el debate sobre Medicare y el Seguro Social, el cuál suele llevarse a cabo a puertas cerradas en Washington, y está garantizando que todos los ciudadanos puedan ser participes en esta discusión acerca de su futuro.

“En vez de hablar de Medicare y el Seguro Social como simples conceptos en el presupuesto federal, Washington debería hablar acerca de cómo fortalecer la seguridad en la jubilación y la salud, y garantizar que los estadounidenses puedan opinar en el debate,” expresó el director ejecutivo de AARP, Barry Rand.

“Nuestros socios y los estadounidenses mayores han contribuido al Medicare y al Seguro Social durante toda su vida laboral y se han ganado el derecho a opinar acerca del futuro de estos programas.”

Recientes investigaciones demuestran que el 95 por ciento de los estadounidenses creen que Washington debería emplear más tiempo escuchando las opiniones de los ciudadanos comunes cuando se trata de decisiones referentes al Seguro Social y Medicare.

La vicepresidenta ejecutiva de AARP, Nancy LeaMond, describió una serie de actividades mediante las cuales Tu Voz es Tu Derecho ayudará a los estadounidenses a que se haga oír su voz.

“Queremos darles a los estadounidenses una manera de hacerse oír,” expresó LeaMond. “Y estamos comprometidos a hacer de Tu Voz es Tu Derecho una conversación inclusiva con nuestros socios y personas adultas de todas las edades,” agregó.

 En la Florida, alrededor del 97 por ciento de las personas que fueron encuestadas dijeron que Medicare es importante para la salud durante la jubilación, mientras que un 96 por ciento dijeron que el Seguro Social es importante para la seguridad financiera durante la jubilación. Y mas del 50 por ciento de Floridanos mayores de 18 años,  esperan que el tanto el Medicare como el seguro social estén vigentes para cuando se jubilen.

 En cuanto a la comunidad hispana respecta, un 21 por ciento no están muy seguros de poder contar con el Medicare, mientras que un 22 por ciento mantuvieron la misma postura respecto al seguro social.

 Martha Díaz, una de las invitadas a la charla en Miami, expresó sus inquietudes y preocupaciones respectos a estos temas. Díaz explicó que durante 20 años trabajo con una empresa de servicios de comida hasta que en el 2005 fue despedida. Al ser removida de su cargo, Díaz no solo perdió su principal fuente de ingreso monetario sino que también todos sus beneficios como seguro médicos entre otros. Díaz quién tan solo tiene 55 años, aún no califica para recibir su retiro, y teme estar a la espera de un beneficio que quizás nunca llegue.

 Otras de las invitadas manifestó su preocupación por el constante aumento de los costos de atención medica en la nación. Cuqui Firvida, quién fue una paciente de cáncer relató que el Medicare solo cubrió los primeros 6 meses de gastos medicinales. A partir de ese momento, su farmaceuta le comunicó que el tipo de medicina que ella estaba recibiendo ya no sería cubierta por el seguro médico. De allí en adelante, Firvida se vio forzada a pagar 360 dólares mensuales de su bolsillo para cubrir los gastos en medicinas para el cáncer.

 “Aunado a esto, hace nueve meses me despidieron de mi trabajo. No estoy todavía retirada porque me considero activa, pero muchos empleos no me contratan por tener 68 años de edad,” Firvida dijo.  “Sin embargo yo tengo que pagar las cuentas del hospital así como los chequeos que debo realizarme cada tres meses,” agregó.

 Como el caso de estas Firvida y Díaz, existen muchas otros no solo en la Florida sino en todo la nación, quienes se encuentran a la espera de que el gobierno cumpla con su jubilación.

 “Tu Voz es Tu Derecho se trata también de asegurar que todos los estadounidenses reciban información clara y equilibrada acerca de los programas y las propuestas que se debaten en Washington,” dijo Rand.

 “El Seguro Social y Medicare son la base de la seguridad en la jubilación para millones de estadounidenses. Al trabajar juntos, participar y hacer oír nuestra voz, podremos lograr que el Seguro Social y Medicare se mantengan sólidos para las generaciones actuales y futuras,” Rand agregó.

 María Celeste Arraras, reconocida periodista hispana y conductora del programa Al Rojo Vivo fue invitada como vocera de esta iniciativa en la Florida.   “El medicare y el seguro social son temas de importancia para la comunidad. Cuando tu le das al problema una cara como el caso de la señora que no consigue trabajo porque ya es mayor y lo que tiene ahorrado se le esta yendo en medicinas, es donde nos damos cuenta que es un problema que nos afecta a todos,” dijo Arraras. “Hay que cambiar la cultura de consumismo; se debe enseñar a nuestros hijos desde pequeños a ahorrar y a no depender del gobierno,” agregó.

 Por su parte Erika Ruiz, voluntaria de AARP y colaboradora de este evento se mostró contenta con los resultados obtenidos con el lanzamiento de esta campaña.  “Estamos muy contentas de contar hoy con la participación hispana. AARP es la organización sin fines de lucro, mas grande del país, y a pesar de esto solo tres millones de hispanos son miembros de esta asociación,” dijo Ruiz.  “Hoy es por el seguro social y el Medicare, mañana será por las Universidades, pero debemos ser  participes en todos los eventos que le conciernen a la comunidad,” añadió.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Comments (19)

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  1. Mary Harrell says:

    I am frustrated with the whole thing. We have people in the US illegally getting benefits and people who need benefits that can’t get them.I have worked as long as I can remember and have a saving and pension what about those who don’t? How has our country got in this shape?

  2. james case says:

    i have been paying into social security since 1977 and am still paying into it i need to know that its going to be there when it comes my time to collect it and if its not going to be there for me why do i have to keep paying into it.

  3. casey dangerfield says:

    The US Goverment is forgetting to take care of america and one day they will be trying to collect themsevles why should I continue putting money in to social securtiy and the goverment is not trying to help my fellow americans or my family this is ridiculosly everyone is passing the buck to blame someone but we still have those who still geting rich and call they self giving advice I hate this .

  4. Albert Burton says:

    The government has been taking money from social security for years !!! When are they going to put it back, they said it was a loan ???!!!

  5. Jackie Tompkins says:

    I am very angry when I see and hear that my money in Social Security is given to foreigners who have not worked a day in the USA. Some of them are legal and brought over here by their children but it still is not right they take my money that I worked hard for and put away in Social Security. My father had to stay for six weeks on Ellis Island just to learn English and now we hear all languages and they are not required to learn English. I bet if we went and lived in thier country we would have to learn their language. I think something should be done with people taking our Social Security when they have not earned it. That is just as bad as free medical treatment when the rest of us have to pay for them.

  6. I think it is pathetic that old people have only gotten 1 raise on social security disability checks in 4 years, but yet people that are on ssi, food stamps, and wic cards get a free cell phone paid for thru the government, imagine 40 million people at 45.00 a month, and we are denied a raise 3x. That could really increase our checks, quit wasting money on welfare and help old people.

  7. joseph butera says:

    Before medicare and social securiy can be fixed there has to be a law that prevents the government from using these funds for any other purpose. During a Meet the Press interview with Senator Tom Colburn an an admission was made by the senator, quote ” Lets face it we stole more than 2.2 trillion dollars from Social security”. Why is it that this hardly ever gets mentioned by the our politicians or the press. No program can succeed if the designated funds are used for other purposes. During his presidential campaign, Gerorge W. Bush pledged to put a lock box on Social security funds, but in fact both parties took funds from Social security.

  8. ron sommers says:

    aarp members are such fools, oboma care will take $500 million out of state funded medicare to fund oboma care and aarp supported it for political reasons and now the same people are crying about sort falls in state medicare and the aarp supported it you can;t have it both ways!

  9. Art Frost says:

    My wife and I paid into medicare for over 60 years combined. My wife passed away before retirement, I retired and secured her ” survivor benefits “. Medicare has not helped me at all in my time of bad health. So I figure if I go out and shoot a Congressmen in the ass; I will end up in prison. Which is a place where I can get three meals a day, a roof over my head, central heating, air conditioned, and all the health care that I will need. Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? No problem. Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, or heart? They are all covered. And as an added bonus, my children can visit me as often as they do now. Who ? You ask will be paying for all this ? Its the same government that won’t help me with my health care; same government that I paid all that money into throughout my and my spouses careers. Plus on top of all that I will be a prisoner and not have to pay any more taxes. Is this a great country or what?

  10. Edwin Collins says:

    I have been paying in to social security and income tax since 1963. Seniors have only gotten 1 increase in 4 years, but yet washington, d.c., is paying for cell phones, for everone on medicaid, they sleep all day and steal all night,get a free ride,i suppose we the people over 70 are out under a tree. Please help seniors, and put the thugs to work.

  11. Lee Johns says:

    Why not stop the welfare for young people that are able to work? Seniors have had 1 increase in ss checks in 4 years,why waste governments money for cell phones for medicaid, seniors need help badly.

  12. I think it all stinks we take care of people that dont deserve it but its all the elderly that get screwed.we struggle to take care of all our bills honestly and on time but in the end we will get left out in the cold and i pay dear for my cell phone i dont think others should get it free

  13. mike black says:

    dangerfield/ ss money is in that 15 tri. we owe that gov. who makes
    our fun stuff so cheep that we are still able 2 play with it.

  14. Doug O says:

    When is someone going to rally the people to Washington and start protesting and demand our elected officials get off there butt and start doing there job that we over pay them to do!!! They have been paying around with this issue for years now and we want it resolved!!!!
    When I was working if my job performance was 17% I would have been fired.The people we elect could care less about us and just take care of there millionaire friends and give them more tax breaks.How about the money that they stole from social security account WHY ARE WE NOT DEMANDING THAT IT IS PAID BACK AND WHY DO WE NOT HEAR ANYONE TALK ABOUT THAT!!!!! What is A.A.R.P.doing to get our elected officials off there butt and NOW!!!

  15. Blinda Billick says:

    social security has been borrowed against for years. why is it also being borrowed from. our goverment can’t pay it back now. we need to make some changes in senate as well aS CONGRESS. PUTTING A NEW PRESIDENT WON’T TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEMS.

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