Repealing the Class Act
According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office, the House of Representatives will vote on the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011 (HR1173) this Wednesday. This bill, which recently passed the House Ways and Means Committee with a bipartisan vote, would repeal the CLASS Act.
The CLASS Act is the voluntary, long-term care program created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010. Despite the White House advocating to merely “rework” the CLASS Act, Republicans and Democrats alike have acknowledged that this piece of legislation is nothing more than a budgeting gimmick and a “Ponzi scheme of the first order.” The CLASS Act was worked into PPACA so that the bill appeared fiscally sustainable. However, internal documents and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports now reveal what many have been claiming for almost two years, that the billions of dollars in future savings for seniors would never materialize. In October of 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finally had to admit, much to the Administrations embarrassment, that the CLASS Act was fiscally unsound.
Before HHS disclosed that it would no longer be moving forward with the program, it was revealed that the Administration had engaged in a series of backroom negotiations to create a series of repairs, hoping to hide the major flaws in the Act. To this day, the White House and HHS have not revealed who were involved in those discussions or what plans were made to “fix” the CLASS Act. This is in sharp contrast to the Administration’s claims of accountability and transparency.
The Act has proven to be a great failure that flopped before it collected any premiums, and already wasted millions in taxpayer’s dollars. When given the opportunity on Wednesday, there is no logical or feasible alternative for the House of Representatives than a vote to repeal the CLASS Act. Anything less would be a disservice to Americans. A message needs to be sent to the Administration that Washington business-as-usual politics will not be tolerated.