11/29/08 - (11/08/08)
San Diego Union Tribune Editorial
(via InstaPundit and NAlert)
The freedom and fairness of socialized medicine.
[edited] The first wave of baby boomer retirees will soon turn 66 and get their first Social Security check. But they won't get Medicare without signing up, soon.
That's one Medicare requirement worth knowing. Here's another: Opting out of Medicare is possible – if you don't mind losing your Social Security, too.
Three seniors have sued. They want to pay their own medical costs, and they would abandon the Medicare taxes they've long paid. But, they don't want to abandon Social Security.
That would ensure the privacy of their medical records and spare them bureaucratic review of every lab test and office visit. If not deemed "medically necessary", Medicare doesn't pay, and the physician by law can't bill the patient. No wonder why many elderly have difficulty finding a doctor.
No law mandates participation in both programs or none. The Clinton administration instituted that regulation, buttressed by Congress' ban on seniors going outside Medicare for any service it provides.