WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) today voted to repeal the fiscally unsustainable Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, a program within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which even the Obama Administration finally admitted last fall to be insolvent.
“Long-term care insurance is an important and worthy type of health care program, but the CLASS program was simply unsustainable. At a time when massive debts and deficits are crushing our long-term economic and fiscal health, it does not make sense to continue to prop up a program that everyone on both sides of the aisle, as well as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, has deemed to be insolvent. Repealing this program once and for all will give Congress a chance to work toward viable solutions to providing assistance for those with long-term care needs and address our nation’s health care challenges in a way that won’t threaten our fiscal solvency.”
The intent of the CLASS Act was to develop a federally-run voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and long-term care insurance. Numerous concerns about the program’s long-term sustainability and affordability for consumers were raised by experts, organizations such as the unbiased American Academy of Actuaries, and even the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is the agency through which the program would be administered. However, using misrepresentative budgetary practices, the Administration claimed the CLASS program accounted for half of the savings under PPACA.
The legislation to repeal the CLASS program passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which Bass sits, in November by a bipartisan vote of 33-17.