How Government “Competes”: Grab Arm, Twist

Capitol Hill Briefing
October 13, 2009 12:00PM
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Kent Masterson Brown, Lead attorney, Hall v. Sebelius; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and co-author of Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.
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 will explain the relevance of Hall v. Sebelius to today’s health reform debate.