Kelly Kennedy of USA Today reports:
The House passed a bill late Thursday that asks the government to change Medicare cards so they do not include seniors’ Social Security numbers.
The move follows an investigation in October that found more than a quarter-million Medicare beneficiaries are potential victims of identity theft, but that they can’t get new ID cards.
“This common sense bill is a vital step in protecting our nation’s seniors from identity theft,” said Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security.
But following a report last fall from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general, Medicare officials said it’s too expensive and too many agencies are involved to reissue numbers, which could make designing a new card difficult.
Read more on Detroit Free Press.
The bill is H.R.1509, the Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2011. This is not the first go-round on this bill, and I hope the Senate passes it and the President signs it. Yes, I know it will cost money and be somewhat complex to tackle, but it needs to be done, so let’s pass and enact this law and tell the relevant agencies, “Make it happen already.”