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Lawmakers Press for Medicare ID Protections

SSN PRIVACY—U.S.

August 2, 2012

At a House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee hearing yesterday, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) queried why Medicare has not yet removed Social Security numbers (SSNs) from identification cards, the Associated Press reports. Medicare Chief Information Officer Tony Trenkle said the process will be more difficult than similar SSN removals completed by the Department of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs. Trenkle said IT systems would need updating, beneficiaries would need educating and budget priorities laid out by Congress would need reassessing. The Government Accountability Office estimates that SSNs on Medicare cards puts approximately 48 million beneficiaries at risk of identity theft.
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