Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) sponsored H.R. 1118, the "Health Care Choices for Seniors Act," a bill to allow seniors a choice they currently don’t have. I had no idea how insurance for seniors works until I read The FreedomWorks blog by Joseph Onerati. Medicare Part A is mandated by the federal government.
Open Congress explains how this works: “The Social Security Administration’s Program Operations Manual System section HI00801.002, titled ‘Waiver of Hospital Insurance Entitlement by Monthly Beneficiary,’ provides that an individual who does not sign up for part A of the Medicare program when the individual signs up for social security benefits will lose such benefits, regardless of the desire of the individual to not participate in the Medicare program because of religious or philosophical reasons or a preference to have private health insurance.”
So you pay into social security all your life—the Obama administration wants to raise the cap even higher—and if you want a choice in health insurance, the government will refuse to pay you the social security you funded.
Is this even constitutional?
The feds are getting away with it. The American Spectator explains Blackburn’s bill gives seniors a choice: accept a voucher for a private Health Savings Account or other high-deductible private health plan in lieu of Medicare Part A "benefits," or opt out of Medicare altogether, without having your Social Security benefits confiscated.
Democrats in the 110th Congress shot down other attempts to change this regulation. Blackburn’s bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce.
Freedomworks Chairman and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and four others filed a lawsuit in October to challenge the HHS rule. As of March 31, 2009 they had not received the injunction they are seeking to give Social Security recipients the choices.
Meanwhile Democrats did sign the S-Chip bill funding it with an additional cigarette tax. Children whose parents are not in the country legally can get insurance and medical care under that bill if I am reading it correctly.
Media has not reported the senior ripoff. Apparently they’re still trying to help President Barack Obama have a positive experience in the White House. I’m not old enough for Medicare, but I plan to complain even if it doesn’t do any good. This practice is an insult to those of us who work and pay social security, and is just another example of the federal government enacting practices that favor the mega-rich and the lower socio-economic quintiles. Americans are completely duped by their government. If Congress had any integrity, they would pass Blackburn’s bill. When the government can confiscate seniors' social security because they want to pay for better quality healthcare, it's hard to believe that government belongs to the United States.