November 7, 2012

New Yorkers weigh in on Social Security, Medicare

PLATTSBURGH — Tuesday’s election is behind every politician celebrating in the District of Columbia, and each will be challenged by Social Security and Medicare.

“The most important thing is that whoever is elected most likely will help determine the future of these programs for future generations,” said Kristin Legere, associate director of communications at AARP New York.

“It’s not just an issue for people who are retired but an issue of people working in their 30s, 40s, 50s and college students who will be going into the workforce. Changes made to these programs will impact future generations.”

AARP distributed three “You’ve Earned A Say” questionnaires, to which 3 million Americans responded at community events nationwide, including, AARP Bulletin and by phone. 

The full report, which includes the responses of New Yorkers statewide and in the 21st Congressional District, can be viewed online at

“Basically, we had more than 43,000 New Yorkers respond to the first questionnaire, more than 45,000 responded to the second, and more than 73,000 responded to the third. It’s not a scientific survey, but it indicates the opinions of more than 160,000 New Yorkers,” Legere said.

The survey started in March.

“Eighty-four percent of New Yorkers thought Social Security needed some changes, ... over one-third of New Yorkers felt the bigger challenge that faced the system is higher-paid workers are not paying enough into the program. One-third of the people felt people who are making more money are not paying enough in the system,” she said.

Eighty-five percent of respondents felt Medicare needed changes.

“Nearly 80 percent said they thought retirees in the future should get the same coverage as retirees in the program today.

“Over a third felt the rising cost of health care was one of the biggest challenges that faced Medicare today,” Legere said.

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