Jerry Shelby from Salisbury attended a “Divided We Fail” conference at the AARP North Carolina state headquarters in Raleigh Jan. 29-30. The conference provided training to volunteers on how to bring the issues on healthcare and financial security to the forefront of the community and the 2008 elections.
AARP launched Divided We Fail to amplify the voices of millions of Americans who believe that healthcare and lifetime financial security are the two most pressing domestic issues facing the nation.
The national campaign is designed to find bipartisan solutions to these two programs for everyone, to encourage politicians and leaders to stop stalling, arguing, criticizing and blaming the other party, rather than solving problems.
According to Shelby, “Citizens have a right to know where our candidates and leaders stand. Health and financial security are not Republican and Democratic issues; they are American issues. We demand the candidates to address these issues in detail, not generalities, publicizing their positions, and then hold them accountable.”
The conference specifically addressed the right to know where leaders stand on the following: 1. Ensuring affordable, quality healthcare for all including prescription drugs, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 2. Making it easier to save for retirement to supplement Social Security. 3. Strengthening Social Security for future generations. 4. Working to bring people together in a bipartisan way to achieve solutions to these problems.
There are 47 million Americans uninsured. Many of those with health insurance can’t afford the premiums, the co-pay, and the deductibles. The cost of drugs has gone up three times faster than the cost of living.
Only 50 percent of families have saved for retirement. Nearly half of Americans depend on Social Security alone.
The Divided We Fail platform also believes that the government can’t do it all. People need to start taking responsibility for healthy behaviors and their financial future. Wellness and prevention efforts, including encouraging diet and exercise, have to be national priorities. Workers have to be made aware early in their career that Social Security in not a stand-alone retirement program. They have to be taught the importance and discipline of supplemental retirement saving.
Families need to be educated early about long-term care options, so they and their families do not become financially burdened when they should be enjoying their retirement.
More information can be read at the Website www. dividedwefail.org.
Citizens are encouraged to join the crusade by signing a pledge card that can be obtained from a AARP member at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center or Jerry Shelby. The local AARP chapter will tally the pledges and deliver them to the state office to compile with other pledges throughout the state, to emphasize to the candidates the need to support medical and financial security issues. The local AARP chapter meets at 1 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center. The local chapter offers members a variety of community service, education, advocacy and leadership, and fellowship opportunities.
By Bret Strelow Salisbury Post RALEIGH ó Ben McCauley started and finished N.C. State’s game with Wake Forest. Consider it... read more