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.

Hey, as a great movie once taught us: freedom isn’t free.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Its nice to know there are still judges out there who decide cases based on things like desired civil objectives instead of that inconvenient concern for matters of law. Perhaps with the way some folks treat the constitution we’ll be able to rule that their reverence for it is defacto religious in nature and we can forbid anyone from posting it in schools. In a few years no one will even remember the silly thing.

  2. Interestingly, in September 2009 Judge Collyer, denying the Government’s Motion to Dismiss, asserted in a lengthy memorandum that the statutes were totally voluntary and that the POMS formed a completely independent and conflicting set of rules which harmed the Plaintiffs and were subject to judicial review. Up until the current opinion was rendered, Judge Collyer repeatedly asserted the same conclusions in written opinions and orally in Court. She did so as late as oral argument on November 18, 2010. What happened, is anybody’s guess.

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