Monday, April 04, 2011

Not Law, Not Regulation, But You WILL Take It


...The plaintiffs in Hall v. Sebelius asked only to be allowed to keep private health insurance rather than enroll in Medicare. They did not ask repayment of the taxes they put into Medicare, but only to forgo its benefits. The Obama administration argued that the only way to avoid Medicare coverage is also to refuse the Social Security benefits for which the plaintiffs paid through a working lifetime.

OK, so on what basis did Obama & Co. make that argument?

...The administration based its position on something called a Program Operations Manual System (POMS), issued in 1993. POMS, neither a law enacted by Congress nor a rule formally adopted by the Social Security Administration, is merely an advisory document for program administrators. Throughout the long course of the case, Judge Collyer insisted that the POMS is not legally conclusive. “Neither the statute nor the regulation specifies that Plaintiffs must withdraw from Social Security and repay retirement benefits in order to withdraw from Medicare,” she wrote

Which the Judge-ette immediately contradicted, and ordered Hall to take Medicare.

The appeal has been filed.

HT AmSpec

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