Now that the elections are over, it is my hope that our newly elected and re-elected state and federal representatives will waste no time in focusing on the issues of concern to older Mainers and their families. Issues such as financial and health security are of paramount importance to many of our older residents. The next Congress will be making decisions about the future of Social Security and Medicare. There are many options likely to be considered in 2013 that will have an effect on the long-term solvency of both of these programs. Now the work truly begins and I am looking forward to hearing how campaign promises will turn into meaningful action.
Here in Maine, the 126th Legislature will need to find ways to balance the state budget without cutting programs that are so important to some of our most at-risk residents. As we head into the coldest months of the year, the challenges for older Mainers will undoubtedly grow. We need to protect our long-term care services and supports and strengthen consumer protections so Mainers can stay in their own homes and communities as they age.
I hope our representatives will reach across the aisle and work together to find solutions that make sense now and for the future. I encourage all Mainers to play an active role in watching how things unfold in the months and years ahead and making sure their voices are heard throughout.
Meredith Tipton, AARP executive council