WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court says American seniors who receive Social Security cannot reject their legal right to Medicare benefits in a rare case of someone suing to get out of a government entitlement.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is among the five senior citizens who sued to stop their automatic eligibility for Medicare. But the appeals court ruled in a split decision that the law gives them no way to opt out of their eligibility if they want to keep their Social Security benefits.

Armey and his co-plaintiffs say their private insurers limit their coverage because they are eligible for Medicare, but they would prefer the coverage from their private insurers.

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