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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Will courts allow seniors to opt out of Medicare and keep their Social Security?

In an effort to make sure that wealthy seniors support Medicare, Democrats long ago made sure that Medicare beneficiaries couldn’t keep their Social Security if they dropped Medicare in favor of a private insurance product or self-insuring themselves.

Now, a Wall Street Journal editorial reports and comments on a law suit that seeks to reverse that law, which is basically unAmerican and immoral.

The editorial’s lede graphs:

A centerpiece of the debate over ObamaCare is government coercion and the right to choose a health-care plan. So it’s worth watching a lawsuit now making its way through the federal courts that seeks to let seniors keep their Social Security benefits even if they reject Medicare. This could be a big deal.

Last week, Washington D.C. District Judge Rosemary Collyer handed a victory to three plaintiffs seeking that right. President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services had sought to dismiss the suit challenging so-called POMS rules that say seniors who withdraw from Medicare Part A must also surrender their Social Security benefits. (Part A covers hospital and outpatient services.) The judge ruled the plaintiffs have standing to contest their claim on the merits.

POMS were imposed in 1993 during the Clinton Administration and set forth rules that aren’t in the statute or regulations governing Medicare. The three plaintiffs‚ÄîBrian Hall, John Kraus and former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Armey‚Äîall had health-care plans they preferred to the coverage they were compelled to receive through Medicare.

Link:

Opting out of Medicare. Wall Street Journal editorial.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 10/05/2009 at 01:10 PM

Health insuranceMedicare

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