By Carole on Oct 14, 2011
In an obvious effort to protect Candidate Obama from one of many blistering and justifiable attacks over Obamacare, President Barack Obama is undelivering on one of the few promises he actually kept. After winning over many voters with the promise of cradle to grave government provided health care, the administration is abandoning its long-term care insurance program admitting it is not and cannot be financially viable.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (commonly called the CLASS Act) is part of the mammoth health care law passed in 2010 and was an attempt at a government run program in which workers pay a monthly premium in exchange for a daily benefit later in life. Today the government, in the person of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged it was impossible to make the program work as promised.
This is not news to anyone except evidently President Obama, Secretary Sebelius and their congressional accomplices who pushed Obamacare through the legislative process in the first place. The chief actuary for the Obama administration's own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services declared in January of 2010 that there is a "very serious risk" the CLASS Act would be "unsustainable" as people with health problems will be more likely to sign up causing the government to raise premiums and making healthy people less likely to sign up. He referred to this as the "insurance death spiral."
Then-Chairman of the Budget Committee and the president's fellow Democrat Ken Conrad (D-North Dakota) also spoke out against the CLASS Act early calling it "a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing Bernie Madoff would have been proud of."
Of course the solid Republican opposition to the program was written off by the administration and their friends in the mainstream media as nothing more than partisan gamesmanship.
The announcement to drop the program proves otherwise. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) responded to the decision saying, "The Obama administration today acknowledged what they refused to admit when they passed their partisan health bill: the CLASS Act was a budget gimmick that might enhance the numbers on a Washington bureaucrat's spreadsheet but was destined to fail in the real world." He also called it "only one of the unwise, unsustainable components of an unwise, unsustainable law."
One down, hopefully plenty more components to go which can then be replaced with sensible and viable reforms.
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