Medicare is Not Just an Entitlement – It’s Mandatory

There’s a group of seniors that have taken issue with Medicare. They’re suing the federal government because they want to be able to scrap their Medicare coverage for private insurance while keeping their Social Security benefits that they have already paid into. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer threw the case out, saying that if someone wants to forfeit his Medicare entitlement, he must also forfeit his Social Security benefits and even have to pay back what has already been give him in benefits.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Kent Masterson Brown said that Judge Collyer redefines the word “entitlement”:

[Collyer] provides a novel, new interpretation of what a federal ‘entitlement’ is. Based on her ruling, an entitlement is now an obligation. If an individual is entitled to certain federal benefits, he or she under this decision would now be obligated to accept them. A low-income family, hypothetically, could be required to accept housing and food assistance if that family qualifies – even if the members of that household have objections to accepting public assistance. That, in effect, is the meaning of this ruling.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008 and challenges rules that the Social Security Administration added to its Program Operations Manual. Based on those rules, any eligible senior beneficiary who elects to withdraw from the Medicare program will also have to give up Social Security benefits and have to repay all Social Security benefits paid up to that point.

According to Brown, applying for Social Security and enrolling in Medicare are completely voluntary. The application for each program is not dependent on the application of the other. Forcing people to participate in one of the programs because of participation in the other is a violation not only of the Medicare Act and the Social Security Act, but also of the Constitution.

Whatever happened to “my body, my choice?” (Oh, that’s right. That only applies to a woman wanting to murder her unborn child.) What would be so wrong with people opting out of the government healthcare system and paying for something better in the private sector? Isn’t our government trying to cut costs? Doesn’t our government want to “create jobs?”

This is actually part of what the Romney/Ryan plan would do. It would give people options to continue with traditional Medicare or find something in the private sector that they like better. This is called freedom of choice. But liberals don’t want freedom of choice. They want to grab seniors with an iron grip and force them to be subjected to their brand of “compassion.”