One of late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s pet projects has been deemed too risky for even this administration. The Obama Administration announced today the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program was a lot more expensive than they expected:
During the health care debate, Republicans raised concerns about the viability of the plan and inserted a provision that required HHS to design a program that would be actuarially sound and financially solvent for at least 75 years before it could be implemented.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to Congress today saying the agency could not find such a model.
“Over the last 19 months, we’ve examined the long-term care market, modeled possible plan designs, and studied the CLASS statute, consulting at every step of the way with outside actuaries, insurers, and consumer groups,” Sebelius wrote in an op-ed in the Huffington Post today.
“Recognizing the enormous need in this country for better long-term care insurance options, we cast as wide a net as possible in searching for a model that could succeed,” she wrote. “But as a report our department is releasing today shows, we have not identified a way to make CLASS work at this time.”
Maybe, just maybe, WE ALREADY KNEW THAT!
Congress used CLASS as a budget gimmick to fund unrelated parts of the new health law. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.), called CLASS a “Ponzi scheme of the first order. The kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would be proud of.”
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the program raises approximately $72 billion in its first 10 years. By 2025, the CLASS program will be bankrupt and unable to meet its obligations.
Read that again. It was a Democrat sounding the alarm bells back in September of last year. This is how long it takes this administration to realize it’s spitting into the wind.
If they refused to recognize the warning signs from their own party members and sallied forth, what horrific budgetary nightmares to we face in the remainder of this 3,000 page monster?