Obama Administration Cancels Major ObamaCare Program

Elisabeth Meinecke

10/14/2011 7:51:00 PM - Elisabeth Meinecke

ObamaCare not as advertised? Even the Obama administration is having to backpedal, reports AP:

"The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president's signature health overhaul law - a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency. ...

...

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a longstanding priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home, or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted Friday she doesn't see how."

Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who's in charge of the House Policy Committee, released a statement wondering why it took the Obama administration so long to realize this.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has apparently concluded that the CLASS Act program is not financially sustainable.  One has to wonder what took them so long,” said Price in the statement.  “From the very beginning, it was obvious this program was not viable and that it was built around budgetary gimmicks meant to hide its true cost and the trust cost of the entire health care reform package.  It is emblematic of the same flawed thinking and approach that is embodied in the entire law that was rammed through Congress under the previous Democrat majority."