Rep. Hal Rogers said he was "rather blunt" in the meeting Wednesday that resulted in Social Security officials agreeing to restore disability benefits to hundreds of Kentuckians while their eligibility is reviewed.
We can only guess what that bluntness entailed, coming from the powerful congressional veteran who chairs the House appropriations committee.
Whatever it was, it worked, saving families from enormous stress and possible ruin.
Rogers, R-Somerset, deserves credit for using his power wisely and rapidly to help the people he represents.
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Late last month, the Social Security Administration sent notices to about 900 people in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia about suspicions that their claims included fraudulent medical information from doctors who worked with Eric Conn, the attorney who represented all the claimants.
The SSA said the people involved must submit new information to verify their claims and benefits would be suspended immediately. The SSA has not taken any disciplinary action against Conn.
The impact was profound and immediate. As Rogers knows, many of those who received the letters have little or no savings and depend upon disability checks to pay their most basic expenses: food, utilities, rent or mortgage, medical costs. Already three suspected suicides have been linked to the benefits suspension.
On Friday, attorneys filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the benefits suspension while the reviews are underway. While the court case was moving rapidly, Rogers got there first.
The reviews will go ahead, as they should. A 2013 Senate report laid out evidence that Conn, working with "whore doctors" and a compliant administrative law judge, had set up an "assembly line" to get disability benefits approved.
Some claimants may have used Conn to game the system. But others have legitimate claims and are victims themselves. For them, Rogers' swift action was a godsend.