11/5/09 Letter to Supporters
November 5, 2009
Dear Donors and Subscribers,
Brian Hall, the lead plaintiff in the Medicare Lawsuit, is on his way to regaining his freedom to contract for health insurance. Mr. Hall’s health freedom was taken by government workers who wrote procedures for administering Social Security and Medicare that prevent him from opting out of Medicare unless he repays all Social Security and Medicare benefits received to date and foregoes his future Social Security benefits. Those procedures act as law, contrary to the intent of the legislation Congress enacted when creating the Social Security and Medicare programs.
FIRST HUGE WIN
The Hall v. Sebelius lawsuit saw a huge win on September 29, 2009, that will help all plaintiffs suing the government. The government routinely argues that plaintiffs must exhaust administrative remedies before they are allowed standing in the court of law. Judge Collyer of the US District Court in Washington, DC rejected the government’s Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that exhaustion of administrative remedies would be futile.
Judge Collyer’s Memorandum Opinion (decision) was influenced by documentation presented by co-plaintiff John Kraus that his case had been ignored for three years until he was a plaintiff in the Medicare Lawsuit. In the ruling, Judge Collyer states, “In Mr. Kraus’s case it appears that blame for his failure to exhaust administrative remedies lies with the SSA, not with himself.”
CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING
On October 13, 2009, lead attorney Kent Masterson Brown and CATO scholar Michael Cannon spoke on Capitol Hill at the Rayburn House Office Building. Their video may be accessed on the CATO website under “Event Archives”. Brown and Cannon discussed how Medicare, a voluntary entitlement, became a mandatory program without congressional approval.
During the question and answer portion of the briefing an audience member asked, “How much has the government spent to fight letting the plaintiffs leave the system?” We have no idea, but during the May 22, 2009, hearing the government’s General Counsel for both Social Security and Health and Human Services were present as were about six other government attorneys.
Another audience member, Jenifer Healy of Representative Sam Johnson’s (R-TX) office, said that Ross Perot asked her congressman why he should be forced to participate in Medicare when the government is clearly running out of money for the program and he can pay for his own services.
The driving issue is freedom to contract, a fundamental right in a free society. It does not matter whether Medicare is better or worse than any other insurance program, what matters is whether we can choose. After all, a bird in a golden cage is still not free.
Brian Hall and the other four plaintiffs will have to be patient. The Medicare Lawsuit timeline can be found on our website at http://thefundforpersonalliberty.org/about/medicare-lawsuit/medicare-lawsuit-timeline-with-documents/, or by clicking on the timeline link in the lower left hand corner of every web page. After all of the paperwork has been filed, the judge will schedule and conduct a hearing, then render an opinion. It may take until May – August of 2010 to receive a final ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment.
Fortunately, there will not be a trial because the facts of the matter are not disputed. Both the plaintiffs and the government agree to what is written in the legislation and the procedural manual. It will be up to the judge to make a ruling on the law.
After the final ruling in the US District Court, the losing side is likely to appeal to a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals.
Regaining retired citizens’ health freedom to contract for their insurance will be a long and difficult road and, in the words of co-plaintiff John Kraus, “They have our money to fight us with.”
IRS DETERMINATION LETTER
After waiting 472 days, we received the valuable IRS determination letter that establishes we are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Past and future contributions to FFPL are deductible under section 170 of the Code. FFPL is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devices, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Code”
A copy of the letter and our fiscal year 2008 tax return are accessible on the website
Not only have the plaintiffs had to be patient, so too have the administrators and donors to this lawsuit!
Thank you for helping Brian Hall, Lew Randall, Norm Rogers, John Kraus, and Dick Armey. Our health freedom is at stake and a win for the five plaintiffs will be a win for all Americans who value the freedom to contract for the health insurance that best suits their personal needs after they pass the age of 65.
Remember, the plaintiffs are not asking for one penny from the government and taxpayers; they are only asking to have a past freedom restored.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
Martha de Forest
PS During our first fiscal year ending May 31, 2009, 93% of spending was for the Medicare Lawsuit and 7% was for administration and fundraising combined. Thank you again for helping us litigate for your health freedom.
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c/o Brett Wilhelm, Secretary
PO Box 940
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