The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program, known as the CLASS Act, is down after being suspended last month, and now the GOP is kicking it by trying to permanently get rid of the program.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011 which repeals CLASS, by a voice vote.
“The intent behind the CLASS program, a voluntary program for long-term care insurance, was laudable,” said subcommittee chair Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) in a statement. “Good intentions, however, do not make up for fundamentally flawed, actuarially unsound policies designed to show the illusion of savings. There are many of us who want to tackle the long-term care situation our country faces, but we realize that CLASS is not the way to do it.”
The CLASS Act was introduced as part of the 2010 health care law, but came under fire from Republicans after a report showed the program was unsustainable. In October, Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted the program’s insolvency, saying there was no “viable path forward” at that time.
“The failure of HHS to implement the CLASS program is not a surprise,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in a statement. “However, it is a catastrophic consequence of what happens when Congress rushes to enact costly policies and dismisses warnings from independent experts. Most troubling are the budget gimmicks used to sell the CLASS program, and indeed, the entire law. Today, we voted to start over on long-term care reform—an issue that is important to all of us. We will begin that process, but first we must take CLASS off the books.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace