View all Events
Event Economics

Fixing the Social Security Disability Mess

Friday November 2014


Tom Coburn, M.D. U.S. Senator (R-Oklahoma)

At the end of 2014, Tom Coburn left the U.S. Senate, where he has represented Oklahoma since his election in 2004. Formerly a practicing obstetrician, Dr. Coburn first entered public life in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served from 1994 through 2000, before honoring a three-term limit pledge. In both the House and Senate, Dr. Coburn earned a reputation as an honest fiscal watchdog, reaching across party lines to target government waste and put the government’s finances on a more sustainable financial footing.

In recent years, Senator Coburn has investigated and exposed significant abuses in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which has been paying out funds to an increasing percentage of Americans exiting the workforce. Senator Coburn’s efforts formed the foundation of a CBS 60 Minutes news feature, “Disability, U.S.A.”

The Senator’s leadership on this issue resulted in findings of widespread fraud and abuse, while inspiring the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy to focus the latest issue of its Trial Lawyers, Inc. series on disability law—a report that was issued in conjunction with this event.