PDT Staff Writer
About 24 people gathered at the Area Agency on Aging office in Portsmouth for the “You’ve Earned Your Say” listening session hosted by AARP on Tuesday. Some of the session attendees shared their frustrations about Social Security, Medicare and health care overall.
“What we’re trying to do is to get people to speak their mind about Social Security and Medicare. And we’re trying to amplify those voices across the country to let Congress know, to let the Government know, how these programs should be fixed, and we should have a say, or part of a say, in how things are going” said Mike Kessler, AARP Advocacy Volunteer, and listening session facilitator.
Session attendees were given a survey, which asked specific questions about the strengths and weaknesses of Social Security and Medicare, and their thoughts on changes they thought the present systems are in need of.
Some of the attendees vocalized their concerns with emotion and vocalized a frustration in regard to what they believe to be flaws in the present government systems.
“If they don’t do something in a hurry, there’s not going to be anything left for anybody,” said one of the listening session attendees.
Pauletta Adams, another attendee, said she thought the event was informative.
“We do need to be heard. Our government needs to listen to us. They need to realize that there are real needs, especially here in Southern Ohio, due to the poverty,” Adams said.
Candace Boehner, advocate volunteer for AARP said people are frustrated, because they want to be heard.
“They want to be given facts as opposed to some political statement. Who do you believe is really what they want to know. Who do you believe? And who do you complain to? And what are you going to do to help them. The organization is very happy to go here and be a voice, and say, give us your thoughts. So we are just happy to just go out and listen, gather this information,” Boehner said.
The AARP Advocacy Volunteers said another listening session would be forthcoming, but no date is set at this time.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org.