The Obama administration is trying to shove Medicare coverage down the throats of senior citizens who don't want it, but it's efforts are falling flat. Five plaintiffs are suing, arguing that no statute or regulation allows government to implement this requirement.
Well. It wasn't the Obamaboyzzzzzz who started this crap. It was Carter. (No small irony.)
The Department of Health and Human Services insists an individual cannot forfeit Medicare eligibility and continue to collect Social Security benefits even after paying into the latter system over an entire career.
So what does DHHS do about it?
They withhold Social Security payments.
So the District Judge asked DHHS for some statutory or regulatory authority for their position. Seems reasonable, no?
There isn't one. Nada. Zip. Zero. But there IS a 1977 "bureaucratic policy letter" which states that a beneficiary "may not waive or refuse" Medicare.
But promoting office circulars to Engraved-On-Tablets-of Stone Law is hardly the worst DHHS offense here.
According to the circular, a Medicare enrollee is free not to file for reimbursement but instead pay out of pocket. That assertion no longer is true. Subsequent regulations provide that in order to treat Medicare patients at all, hospitals must agree not to charge even a single patient for treatment outside of the Medicare system. If patients think they can get better care outside of Medicare, they are forbidden to do so if they are listed on Medicare's rolls, whether or not they plan on ever accepting Medicare's tax-paid benefits.
Yes, you see the outline of the Statist dream here--Phase Two of which was ObozoCare.
"You WILL take our plan. You WILL accept our care-level, whatever it may be. You WILL like it. Your doctor(s), your hospital(s)--they WILL accept it, too."
"That is all. Voraus!! Schnell!!"