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150 Years Later 'House Divided' Speech Still Holds Strong Message

Issues for Many Have Changed to Health Care & Economic Security - Need for Lawmakers to Come Together for Solutions Remains

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 150 years ago this week, Abraham Lincoln delivered his "House Divided" speech at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. AARP Illinois took the opportunity to remind state and federal lawmakers that while the issues have changed, the problems of division preventing progress on key issues remains the same.

AARP, the Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Business, the Service Employees International Union and business, consumer and labor groups throughout Illinois and across the nation have joined forces to change things through an initiative called "Divided We Fail."

In 1858 Lincoln warned: "A house divided against itself cannot stand...-- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided...It will become all one thing or all the other..."

"Lincoln's powerful message has stood the test of time - unfortunately so too has political gridlock," said Bob Gallo, State Director for AARP in Illinois. "It's time for our elected officials and candidates to start working together on the issues that matter - health care and long-term financial security.

Through "Divided We Fail" community leaders, candidates, elected officials, and voters have come together throughout Illinois and across the nation on the topics of health care and financial security with a focus on demanding action and answers from our nation's leadership. The initiative is aimed at breaking through the gridlock and ending the political in-fighting at the state level and in Washington D.C.

"America deserves bipartisan solutions to bipartisan problems," added Gallo. "We deserve a 'house united' to fix a broken health care system and provide long-term financial security for all Americans."

On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's speech, AARP urges all Illinoisans to stand strong on the demand for real solutions for real people by taking the "Divided We Fail Voter Pledge" at

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