Supporters claim a new "government option" would compete on a level playing field with private health insurance. But a new lawsuit belies that claim.
Since 1993, the Social Security Administration has effectively coerced seniors into enrolling in Medicare by decreeing that those who opt out of Medicare for private insurance must forfeit all Social Security benefits, past and future. Last month, a federal court acknowledged that federal law requires no such thing and that SSA conjured that requirement out of thin air "without public notice and comment."
Kent Masterson Brown and Michael F. Cannon explain the relevance of Hall v. Sebelius to today's health reform debate.
Kent Masterson Brown
Kent Masterson Brown was born in Lexington, Kentucky on February 5, 1949. A graduate of Centre College of Kentucky in 1971, he received his juris doctor degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia in 1974. For the past thirty-three years, Mr. Brown has practiced law from his offices in Lexington, Kentucky and as of counsel to Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in Washington, D.C.
He is experienced in the areas of trial and appellate litigation involving the adjudication of issues (some of them constitutional issues) arising out of the regulation of the health care industry and the administration of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as antitrust issues within the health care industry.
He was also the creator and first editor of the magazine The Civil War and the author of several books, including Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander and The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State. Mr. Brown's most recent book, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, was released in April of 2005 by the University of North Carolina Press and has received rave reviews.
Michael F. Cannon
Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies. Previously, he served as a domestic policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee under Senator Larry E. Craig (R-ID), where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare, and Second Amendment policy.
In addition, Cannon has worked as a health care policy analyst for Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation in Washington, D.C. Cannon has appeared on CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and NPR. His articles have been featured in USA Today, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Most recently, Cannon coauthored the book Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.
Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, denounces a public option. He says a government backed health plan will gain an unfair advantage over the private market simply by being "a creature of Congress."