8/5/09 Letter to Donors
When it comes to health care what really matters is who decides. So it is an astonishing fact that American seniors who want to privately contract with doctors and health facilities are forced to give up their Social Security benefits. That unconstitutional interference with your individual right to contract for your health care led to our organizing as a 501(c)(3) to fund what we call the “Medicare Lawsuit.”
Thank you for your early support of The Fund for Personal Liberty. We raised just over $300,000 during our first year and successfully launched the Medicare Lawsuit in federal court. The Medicare Lawsuit is the first step on our journey to obtain precedent-setting court decisions that protect your individual right to contract for your health care.
MEDICARE LAWSUIT OVERVIEW
Funding the Medicare Lawsuit is our first priority. We have five co-plaintiffs who want to opt out of Medicare Part A and are suing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to protect their (and your) right to privately contract for better health services and enhanced privacy without having to forego Social Security benefits. The current policy forces a retiree applying for Social Security to automatically enroll in Medicare Part A.
We believe we have a very strong case for many reasons including:
- The policy was put in place by unelected bureaucrats during both Democrat and Republican administrations (violating Congress’s exclusive power to legislate).
- Plaintiffs are being denied a fundamental right to determine their own health care or their property interest in their Social Security in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
- The policy was instituted without following the required procedure which includes putting proposed regulations out for public comment.
- Semantically, the word “entitlement” is not defined as “requirement” so retirees should have the option of declining the Medicare Part A benefit.
- The five co-plaintiffs exhausted all other avenues of remedy before engaging in a lawsuit.
To prevail could result in the following benefits:
- Freedom to choose your doctor and health plan without forfeiting your Social Security benefits; freedom to make your own medical decisions without government rationing of care; freedom to keep a health plan you are satisfied with; and, freedom to keep your medical history private.
- A decision stating that an individual has the right to select their insurance carrier could set an important legal precedence that works to undermine single-payer insurance.
There is no better time than the present for this case to be working its way through the courts. This has the same potential significance as the recent Kelo and Heller cases have had regarding individual property rights and individual gun rights respectively.
MEDICARE LAWSUIT STATUS
Our lead attorney, Kent Masterson Brown, argued on May 22nd against the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Mr. Brown also submitted a Motion for Summary Judgment. We are now waiting for the judge’s ruling on the first motion. If the defendants prevail, we have the option of appealing. If the defendants lose their motion to dismiss, the judge will review our Motion for Summary Judgment. If we prevail, we have won, but the defendants are likely to appeal. If the Motion for Summary Judgment is denied, we will go to trial. We plan to fight for your rights until we prevail and/or all judicial options are exhausted.
GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE DATABASE
We received a generous donation earmarked to develop a second website which will help us spread the word of our lawsuit and generate donations. Our first website (www.MedicareLawsuit.org) has been an excellent resource for journalists and others who wish to educate themselves on our lawsuit. The follow-on companion website will be directed toward activists and donors with a very large user-content component. We are taking a long term view on government interference in the delivery of health care and will be collecting individuals’ stories for research and potential future litigation.
By the time you receive this, the new website will be live at www.TheFundForPersonalLiberty.org. The blog portion of the website will give readers the opportunity to submit stories detailing government created barriers to their health freedom. We welcome all stories relating to services denied due to rationing, patients denied access to experimental medicines, research hindered by regulation, and numerous other accounts of government interference in health freedom. Do you have a story?
Legal fees and costs for the Medicare Lawsuit have outpaced contributions by about $180,000. Unlike the government, I take debt extremely seriously. While I cannot predict how long it will take to raise the money, I can say that it is our highest priority and all activities will be in support of a balance sheet with zero debt. The first task is to raise funds to pay these debts.
The second task is to raise enough funds to see this project to its conclusion. Depending upon court rulings and appeals, we anticipate $100,000 – $500,000 in additional legal expenses.
Surprisingly, we need small donations as much as we need large donations. But please don’t hold back knowing this. Fighting the jumbo bureaucracy known as the US Department of Health and Human Services is not for the faint-hearted.
Please visit our new website, test our donation page, check out the blog and make some comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
Martha de Forest