Maui Business

Medicare Rolls Out New Cards in Hawai‘i

June 7, 2018, 9:49 AM HST
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PC: medicare.gov

Hawaiʻi Attorney General Russell Suzuki joins Medicare officials to discuss the rollout of new Medicare cards to 262,000 beneficiaries in Hawaiʻi.

Medicare recently began mailing new cards to Hawaiʻi addresses.

Social Security numbers have been removed from them to prevent identity theft against seniors, keep scammers from using Medicare benefits illegally, and protect tax dollars.

Hirono, Deutch Renew Effort to Strengthen and Expand Social Security

Meantime, US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) this month renewed their call for Congress to strengthen and improve the Social Security program.

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On Tuesday, the Social Security Administration released its annual Trustees Report, which indicated that while the program remained strong in 2017, improvements should be made to ensure that full costs and benefits are payable into the foreseeable future and beyond.

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“Social Security continues to serve as the cornerstone of retirement for millions of individuals and families around the country, including thousands in Hawaiʻi who rely on the program every day to survive,” Senator Hirono said. “I will continue to fight for working and middle class families to ensure that their hard-earned benefits are preserved, and to oppose efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare.”

“When Congressional Republicans sold their tax scam to the American people they left out the fact that while the windfalls mostly line the pockets of corporations and the wealthy, the deficits they used to pay for them will fuel their threats to cut Social Security. The truth is, Social Security doesn’t add a dime to the deficit and is the retirement bedrock of millions of Americans and we should keep it that way,” Representative Deutch said. “Now is the time Congress should prepare for the future, not by threatening workers’ benefits, but by expanding Social Security. I’m proud to lead the fight to protect and preserve Social Security with Senator Hirono. No cuts. No retirement age increases. No chained-CPI.”

Last year, Senator Hirono and Representative Deutch reintroduced the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act, which would strengthen and improve the Social Security program by restoring fairness in contributions and providing more accurate measures to determine annual cost of living adjustments for beneficiaries.

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The annual Trustees Report provided a detailed overview of the financial outlook for Social Security’s combined Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust Funds in the coming years, and further indicated that the Trust Funds have substantial surpluses that should fully cover administrative costs and benefits for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and survivors of deceased beneficiaries until 2034—the same year as previously indicated in 2017.

SSA had previously estimated that the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act would strengthen the program by covering these costs and benefits for an additional 25 years, until 2059—further strengthening the basic safety net for millions of Americans, including many of those who have worked hard for their entire lives.

Senator Hirono says she continues to fight to protect and expand programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Last year, she led a letter with Senators Casey, Donnelly, and 13 other senators calling on the President to protect these programs from privatization or other cuts. In their letter, the senators called for President Trump to make an official statement of support for these programs.

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