I’m always amazed at how the AP can twist a story to make it something it’s not.
The first paragraph makes you think that this is all the Republicans fault, does it not?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration’s signature health overhaul law, under relentless assault by Republicans, has suffered its first major casualty – a long-term care insurance plan.
But 6 paragraphs down, you finally get the real story:
After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally acknowledged Friday she doesn’t see how.
“Despite our best analytical efforts, [our best book cooking, in other words] I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS [the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program] implementation at this time,” Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place.
But officials said they discovered they could not make CLASS both affordable and financially solvent while keeping it a voluntary program open to virtually all workers, as the law also required.
Monthly premiums would have ranged from $235 to $391, even as high as $3,000 under some scenarios, the administration said. At those prices, healthy people were unlikely to sign up. Suggested changes aimed at discouraging enrollment by people in poor health could have opened the program to court challenges, officials said.
Well, duh! I’d say YES! they are unlikely to sign up for this.
“If healthy purchasers are not attracted … then premiums will increase, which will make it even more unattractive to purchasers who could also obtain policies in the private market,” Kathy Greenlee, the lead official on CLASS, said in a memo to Sebelius. That “would cause the program to quickly collapse.”
Which is exactly opposite of what the Obama regime had in mind: they want to collapase the private market, not the government.
That’s the same conclusion a top government expert reached in 2009. Nearly a year before the health care law passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare, warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as President Barack Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.
So a year before this bill passed, the regime was made aware that it would not work and they plowed ahead anyway. Can anyone spell SOLYNDRA?
The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next 10 years. That’s because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.
How exactly does that work? No premiums are collected and it still reduces the deficit over 10 years? um huh.
“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,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
No shit, Sherlock!
Administration officials said Obama’s next budget would reflect the decision not to go forward. Even without CLASS premiums, they said the health care law will still reduce the deficit by more than $120 billion over 10 years.
And who believes this?Refer to my above post. It cannot reduce the deficit if they are not collecting “premiums”, aka taxes.
“We’re disappointed that (Sebelius) has prematurely stated she does not see a path forward,” AARP, the seniors lobby, said in a statement. “The need for long-term care will only continue to grow.”
And of course, not to be left out: the AARP, Obama regime’s biggest cheerleader, had to chime in.
Sebelius said the administration wants to work with Congress and supporters of the program to find a solution. But in a polarized political climate, it appears unlikely that CLASS can be salvaged. Congressional Republicans remain committed to its repeal.
And we end the story with the opening: it’s the Republican’s fault this little portion of the massive Obama bill has failed.