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Brady Applauds Action to Strengthen Identity Protections for Medicare Beneficiaries

January 16, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency has, three months ahead of schedule, completed the removal of Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

Upon CMS’s announcement, top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement:

“I applaud Secretary Azar for quickly getting the job done.  Far too many seniors and individuals with disabilities fall victim to identity theft, and this commonsense change will reduce the risk when a Medicare card is lost or stolen.  I especially want to thank former-Ways and Means Social Security Chairman Sam Johnson for leading the charge on this, and look forward to continuing our important bipartisan work to protect Americans from identity theft.”

Background: Championed by Ways and Means Republican Leader Brady, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), the Ways and Means Committee led efforts to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.  The lawmakers’ provision was included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

As required by statute, in April 2018, CMS began to issue new Medicare cards no longer containing Social Security numbers.  Today, the agency reported that this project has now been completed.