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The stakes are high, the politics intense. Social Security provides Americans with financial protection against some risks of life, paying benefits to millions of retired and disabled workers and their families and to families of deceased workers. In Kansas, there are half a million child, adult, and elderly beneficiaries. The program had its last makeover in 1983 and is due for another if it is to serve the generations of the 21st century. Reform proposals are controversial, caught up in larger struggles about the role of government in American life. Will the fixes for Social Security mend it, end it or expand it?