The Spectacle Blog

Mugged by Medicare

By on 1.17.11 | 10:34AM

It is astonishing that this case hasn't gotten more conservative attention (outside of the pages of the Washington Times), but today's Wash Times editorial again reminds people that the government actually claims it can hold hostage people's Social Security payments in order to FORCE those people to accept Medicare enrollment.

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. The plaintiffs have private insurance they consider superior to Medicare and are willing to allow the Treasury to keep the benefits they earned after having paid Medicare taxes for decades. Everybody, including the American taxpayer, wins - except for bureaucrats, who don't want to be bothered to keep track of those who willingly forgo Medicare coverage....

The government's brief isn't responsive to Judge Collyer's demand because no legitimate authority seems to exist for their freedom-destroying fiat. The five plaintiffs merely want the right to pay for their own level of medical care. Denial of that right could endanger their health, or lives.....

One of those previous editorials linked above noted that while most of this case is being fought on statutory grounds, there also is a constitutional (and moral) argument at hand that parallels the legal fight over Obamacare:

The government ought to lose this challenge on statutory grounds alone, but the practical parallels to Obamacare lawsuits make the substance of this case all the more poignant. Despite President Obama's efforts, this is still a free country. Government shouldn't be able to force Americans to accept care they don't care for.

This is a hugely important case. Conservatives should pay heed.

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