During President Obama’s administration, three retired federal employees – among them former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey -- sued the federal government because they wanted to drop their Medicare Part A coverage without losing Social Security benefits. They claimed participation in Medicare threatened their coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) program.
A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case in March 2011, a decision that was upheld the following year by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, with then-judge Brett Kavanaugh writing for the majority that the federal statute offers the plaintiffs no path to disclaim their legal entitlement to Medicare Part A benefits. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review.
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