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Public Statements

Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

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Mr. PAULSEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act.

With the constant growth of technology and, as an unfortunate result, identity theft, I have received numerous inquiries from my constituents--and in particular, seniors--about what we are doing and the need to protect people from identity theft. Earlier this year, I also held a seminar in my district with seniors about identity theft, and it was very well attended.

In 2010, nearly 7 percent of households were victims of identity theft. Of those households, over 1 million were headed by seniors. Today, nearly 50 million Medicare cards display the Social Security number. Social Security numbers are absolutely one of the most valuable pieces of personal identity that we have, therefore making it a top target for criminals.

For years, the General Accounting Office and the Social Security special inspector general have recommended and asked Congress to remove the Social Security numbers from Medicare cards because it is an unnecessary risk for seniors. That's exactly what this legislation does. It will help prevent seniors from becoming victims of these types of theft and fraud by removing the Social Security number from those Medicare cards.

I'm pleased to be a cosponsor and actively support this legislation. This is common sense. This is bipartisan. There's no reason for delay. We can stop putting seniors at unnecessary risk.

I want to thank, in particular, the subcommittee chairman, Mr. Johnson, as well as Congressman Doggett for their bipartisan leadership on this effort and bringing it to the floor before the end of the year.

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