Social Policy & Politics Program | One Pager

Postcards from the Future: Fixing Social Security and Medicare

by Peter Brodnitz, Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Michelle Diggles, Ph. D

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In August 2012, Peter Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group conducted two sets of two focus groups for Third Way, the first two in Long Island, New York, on August 21, 2012, and the second two in Minneapolis, MN, on August 23, 2012. Participants were self-described Independents or Democrats over 45, with 23 identifying as moderate, 6 as liberal, and 3 as conservative.

Participants were asked to imagine two scenarios. In the first, Social Security and Medicare were reformed. In the second, the programs were not reformed. Our participants wrote postcards to their grandchildren explaining the consequences of action and inaction. In every instance, these voters felt that making changes to fix the programs would provide themselves and their families with a brighter future.

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