I have been frustrated about identity theft since the calls about it started coming to me 18 years ago. Unfortunately, things have only gotten more complicated and much worse since 1996.
Of course, over time there have been glimmers of hope. For example, health insurers used to use your Social Security number as your file number. Then a law was passed to stop that. Following that, it was entirely common for driver’s licenses in states across the country to feature your Social Security number. Then that became outlawed.
So the feds are good at ordering other people around. But they’re not good at eating their own cooking. That’s why we are still mistreating 20 percent of our population by requiring that a Medicare card have your Social Security number.
It’s idiotic, stupid, careless, and downright mean. We all know what a problem identity theft is, so to leave senior citizens exposed with their Socials out there for anyone to steal is just ridiculous. Nearly half of all identity theft occurs through the medical sector. So why would we do this to them? The answer is we shouldn’t.
In the past, I have told people not to carry their Medicare card, even though you’re supposed to have it all times in case you have a medical emergency. Seniors tell me, “I can’t get care without that card.”
That’s just ridiculous. So we need to change the system. That’s why I’ve started an online petition on WhiteHouse.gov. When we hit 100,000 signatures, it will force a federal review of the archaic rules at play.
Signing the online petition takes just seconds. Just visit ClarkHoward.com and search keyword ‘petition’ to find it. Let’s force that federal review! It starts with ordinary citizens petitioning to bring about change. That means you!
There are times in Washington when we feel alienated and powerless. But there is strength in numbers and we need to use it now to protect our senior citizens.
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