What do these two stories have in common? They’re both about Medicare.
So is this update. 6:46PM 6-Oct
You Vill be Served!
…The Social Security Administration has issued rules in its Program Operations Manual System (POMS) that state that “the only way to avoid” the hospital and outpatient services provided by Medicare Part A is also to forgo Social Security benefits that have been earned through a lifetime of payroll taxes.
What sort of insanity is it that the Social Security Administration will not allow you to opt out of Medicare without also giving up your Social Security benefits? The savings aren’t big enough? They don’t want to contribute to medical unemployment rates? They’re arbitrary bureaucrats with an obscure agenda? To handle this their computer system will require a billion dollar upgrade? They are just not efficient, marketwise?
Maybe this is the waste and fraud our President has been railing about.
It reminds me of an old French saying: Pommes de la route.
The missing part is why the SSA won’t let you forgo your Medicare benefits on their own. The Wall Street Journal mentions it here: Opting Out of Medicare, but without enlightenment.
The only thing I have found that is close to an explanation of this bureaucratic fiat is here (registration required):
Brings Renewed Focus on Private Contracting With Medicare Beneficiaries
A recent lawsuit filed by three Medicare-eligible individuals on October 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has brought renewed attention to private contracting with Medicare beneficiaries… If the plaintiffs are successful in this case, physicians, hospitals, and other providers may face potentially fewer obstacles and disincentives to entering into lucrative private contracts to treat Medicare beneficiaries.
Why private contracts should be more lucrative is not made clear, but I’m of the opinion it’s because the health care is better.
This bureaucratic manipulation is a preview of Obamacare, where you also won’t be able to opt out.