A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, February 7, 2012, that seniors who receive Social Security cannot reject their legal right to Medicare benefits.
A federal appeals court ruled on Feb. 7, 2012 that senior citizens who receive Social Security cannot reject their legal rights to Medicare benefits. The five senior citizen plaintiffs—among whom is former House Majority Leader Dick Armey—argued that they prefer their private insurance plans, and that the policy compelling Social Security recipients to enroll in Medicare violates the fundamental right of the individual to choose his own form of health care without consequence.
According to The Fund for Personal Liberty, “the lawsuit argued that:
- The Social Security Act and Medicare Act state clearly that applying for Social Security monthly benefits and enrolling in Medicare are voluntary and that the applications for each of these programs are not dependent on the application for the other. For the new SSA rules to make enrolling in Medicare mandatory violates the Social Security Act and Medicare Act as well as Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution.
- Forced participation in Medicare infringes on a citizen’s right to privacy and violates that individual’s right to make necessary choices about his or her own health care, and, accordingly, violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
- The new SSA rules were put into place without undergoing the required “notice” and “comment” rule-making requirements. The policies should have been published in the Federal Register and open to comment by the general public prior to implementation. Not doing so violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act.”
The plaintiffs announced their intent to appeal the decision “even if it takes them two-and-a-half more years to win the right to make their own healthcare choices, rather than be beholden to a bureaucracy that knows and cares nothing about their individual circumstances,” said Kent Masterson Brown, lead attorney in the case.
You can read about this in The Christian Science Monitor as well. Stay tuned for further updates.