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.The Welfare State.
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 to change that. They want to pay their own medical costs, and they would abandon the Medicare taxes they've long paid. They don't want, however, to abandon Social Security. Their suit would sunder the two programs, allowing seniors to cover their own medical care without losing Social Security.
That, say the three plaintiffs, would ensure the privacy of their medical records and spare them bureaucrats' second-guessing whether every lab test and office visit are “medically necessary.” If not, Medicare doesn't pay and the physician, by law, can't bill the patient. Don't 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 venturing outside Medicare for any service it provides.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The San Diego Union Tribune reports:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:16 AM