GOP lawmakers: New Medicare cards would help prevent identity theft

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Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense have taken steps to redesign their insurance cards, the lawmakers said, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not followed suit.

Doubting the agency's cost estimate for a card redesign, Herger blamed the healthcare law.

"I can’t help but wonder if this new cost estimate reflects just how thin Medicare has been stretched because of ObamaCare," he said in a hearing.

"It’s been widely reported that significant CMS resources, both financial and staffing, have been diverted from the Medicare program to implement non-Medicare ObamaCare provisions."

Johnson touted a bill, H.R. 1509, that would direct the federal Health secretary to remove Social Security numbers from the Medicare cards.

"If CMS won’t do what’s right for America’s Medicare beneficiaries, then Congress must act," he said.

Johnson leads the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, while Herger leads its Health subcommittee. The hearing was a joint effort between the two panels.