To the Editor:

For more than a year, the president and Congress have been talking about changes to Medicare and Social Security as part of back-room budget deals and "grand bargains" -- but have they asked what you think?

The outcome of elections in November is important for many reasons, but especially because the next Congress and president could decide the fate of Social Security and Medicare -- decisions that would affect you and your family for years to come.

For all of us, we've earned the right to know what is being discussed so we can ask the right questions.

As part of its "You've Earned a Say" effort, AARP is taking the debate out from behind closed doors in Washington and giving local residents a chance to voice their ideas and concerns.

Your voice matters because Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of income and health security in retirement for most Americans (including more than half a million Connecticut residents) -- a role that has become even more important in today's tough economy.

Learn about the pros and cons of the various options being discussed, download fact sheets and even try your hand at filling the funding gap at www.earnedasay.org.

Then send a message to your representative and the presidential candidates to let them know what you think.

You can make your voice heard.

Kathy Null

Bridgewater