A lawyer friend who specializes in this kind of thing alerts me to this decision, handed down earlier this week in the Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court, ruling that no American can opt out of Medicare without also forfeiting all Social Security benefits. My friend explains the significance:
This is an outrageous result. The judge held that because once you begin collecting social security benefits you are “entitled” to begin receiving Medicare as well, if you fail to sign up for Medicare, you forfeit your social security that you paid into your whole life. Nothing in either the Medicare Act or the Social Security Act justifies this result. At bottom, the judge essentially ruled that the word “entitled” means “must sign up for.” So when you and Kara begin drawing on Social Security, know that the Big Plantation will force you to also get on Medicare. If you don’t, it will actually make you pay back every cent you received from social security.