Jun 21, 2012 at 9:06 am
ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - More Minnesota residents will soon have a chance to give their two cents on what they'd like to see for the future of Social Security and Medicare. The "You've Earned A Say" summer tour kicks off Thursday with stops in Fairmont and Worthington.
AARP volunteer Bob Geyen says the main focus is to collect ideas for the future of the programs, but it also is about maintaining a quality of life for seniors in years to come.
"This is a long term effort to make sure our seniors are treated with respect and they can live their lives in dignity," Geyen said. "Some of the results of living in poverty are just devastating."
The "You've Earned A Say" campaign started with the first leg of the tour this spring, stopping in places like Duluth, Rochester and the Twin Cities. Geyen says they heard from hundreds of people, many of whom said they rely heavily on Medicare and Social Security.
"Most of the people it is well over 50% of their income as seniors, mine is over 50% and boy that is a huge chunk of my income," Geyen said, adding, "Some are worse. Some are 100%"
While many seniors in the state do rely on the programs, Seth Boffeli with AARP Minnesota says they do also understand that with the changing times, reforms are needed from the highest levels.
"Seniors are willing to have a discussion about the future," Boffeli said. "But they want to be part of that discussion and they want to know that the decisions that are made in Washington are made to make the program stronger, not just to save money."
In Minnesota, around 900,000 people receive Social Security benefits; and some 800,000 rely on Medicare to help them pay for their prescription drugs and doctor visits.
Tomorrow the tour will be in Marshall. Other stops this summer will include Stillwater, Austin, Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Brainerd and the State Fair.You can find all the details at the AARP Minnesota website.