"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Obama’s HHS Forced To Abandon Flawed CLASS Act, “A Major Setback To The Health Care Reform Law”

October 17th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The AP reported Saturday, “The Obama administration’s signature health overhaul law, under relentless assault by Republicans, has suffered its first major casualty — a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency. The program became the first casualty in the political and policy wars over the health care law. It had been expected to launch in 2013.”

Politico added, “HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday that the department is calling for a halt to the implementation of the CLASS Act — a stunning end to the financially troubled long-term care insurance program and a major setback to the health care reform law.”

And The Hill notes, “CLASS is by far the biggest piece of healthcare reform to meet its end, and also the first to collapse entirely on its own. Republicans successfully repealed one much smaller provision, and the individual mandate could be struck down by the Supreme Court. But HHS officials acknowledged that CLASS fell apart simply because it was too flawed to salvage.”

In an editorial, The Wall Street Journal blasts Democrats for including the unsustainable program in the first place: “Democrats engineered the program known by the acronym Class with front-loaded premiums and back-loaded benefits so that on paper it threw off a lot of revenue early on but then bankrupted itself later. This design made it possible for the Congressional Budget Office to score the program as a money-raiser during its first decade and thus make ObamaCare look like it reduced the deficit. . . . HHS’s own experts were warning Democrats all along that Class was a fiscal time bomb, so including it in the bill was a special act of fiscal corruption.”

And yet Democrats touted the CLASS program when they jammed Obamacare though the Senate in December 2009. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said at the time, “I know these bills are big, well more than 800 pages, but this section on the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act , the so-called CLASS Act, is a breakthrough–I think to be understated….” And Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) claimed, “[W]e get a lot of bangs for the buck, as one might say, with the CLASS Act that we have in this bill.”

Responding to Republican warnings about the CLASS Act, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, “Certain colleagues on the other side of the aisle have argued that the CLASS plan would lead to a financially unstable entitlement program and would rapidly increase the Federal deficit. That is simply not accurate.” And he boasted, “The CLASS plan is a win-win for reducing costs in our health care system and protecting Americans who require long-term care.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 58% Think Repeal of Health Care Law Likely

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