Problem: Seniors Aren’t Free
In February 2012, a federal appeals court ruled that Medicare is a “mandatory entitlement,” which means that if a senior citizen doesn’t want to be part of Medicare, the senior will lose his or her Social Security benefits. According to this ruling, in order to receive Social Security benefits, the elderly MUST also be enrolled in Medicare (specifically, Medicare Part A hospital insurance).
Our representatives in Congress never voted to tie Medicare and Social Security together in this way. Unelected bureaucrats in the Clinton administration made this regulation in 1993, and the Bush administration continued the policy.
The Clinton-Bush regulation is incompatible with a free society. Seniors are being forced to accept inferior-quality health insurance in order to receive their Social Security benefits. They’re trapped. In a free society, seniors would be able to choose between Medicare and private health insurance without penalty.
Solution: Retirement Freedom Act
To solve this problem, I urge you to contact your congressional representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Retirement Freedom Act. Introduced in the Senate by Sen. DeMint of South Carolina and in the House by Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas, the bill would allow individuals to choose to opt out of Medicare. (The bill numbers are S. 1317 in the Senate and H.R. 2435 in the House.)
The Retirement Freedom Act will restore seniors’ personal liberty to maintain a health care plan of their choice and save taxpayer dollars in the process.
The bill would eliminate the link between senior’s Social Security benefits and Medicare. This means that a senior could opt out of Medicare and still receive their Social Security benefits.
For more information, contact me email@example.com.
This issue boils down to a simple question: In a free society, who should make personal health care decisions? You, or the government?
Individuals must be given the freedom to opt out of Medicare.
Dean Clancy is FreedomWorks’ Legislative Counsel and Vice President, Health Care Policy
FreedomWorks Letter to Congress in Support of Fiscal Commision Act (H.R. 5779)