CLASS Act on Verge of Failure

It seems that the CLASS Act might be cancelled—possibly permanently—after the program’s chief actuarial lost his job, with the remainder of the office’s eight-person staff likely being reassigned to different jobs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services essentially shut down the Obama Administration’s Community Living Assistance Services and Supports office by disbanding the staff, effective last Friday, Sept. 22, chief actuarial Bob Yee told WSJ. However, he says his understanding is that HHS is “slowing” the program’s development, rather than scrapping it altogether.

Earlier, Yee emailed his colleagues informing them he’d be leaving his position after the HHS’s decision to “close down the CLASS office.”

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“I believe I have made a contribution to CLASS to the best of my ability and hope I haven’t embarrassed the actuarial profession too much,” said Yee in the email, contained in a Forbes article.

However, HSS disputes that the office is being closed.

“While the staff of the CLASS office has been reduced, reports that the CLASS office is closing are not accurate,” the HHS statement said, included in the WSJ article. “We are continuing our analysis of this program. As we have said in the past, it is an open question whether the program will be implemented. A CLASS program will only be implemented if it is fiscally solvent, self-sustaining, and consistent with the statute.”

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The office’s status remains unclear, though.

“Clearly, all the people are reassigned, I’m leaving, so there’s nobody else except maybe the head of the office,” Yee told WSJ.

The CLASS Act has faced opposition from the GOP as being “financially insolvent,” and its implementation has already faced delays.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace