CLASS-less Obamacare becomes more of a budget drain

File this under “Now they tell us.” From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration cut a major planned benefit from the 2010 health-care law on Friday, announcing that a program to offer Americans insurance for long-term care was simply unworkable. …

Because the insurance program had been projected to reduce the federal deficit by $86 billion over the next 10 years, terminating it complicates the nation’s budget picture. It is now estimated that the health-care law will cut the deficit by $124 billion from 2012 to 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Actually, plenty of Obamacare opponents said from the beginning that the Community Living Assistance Services Act, better known as CLASS, was a two-fold sham. First, because it would be unworkable, as the Obama administration now concedes. And second, because it was included only as a numbers-rigging exercise to make Obamacare marketable as a net reduction in federal deficits.

In fact, doubts about the program’s viability — not some sudden epiphany about fiscal responsibility within the administration — are the reason CLASS is being dismissed. The Wall Street Journal explains:

The only reason the Health and Human Services Department pre-emptively called off this scheme is that former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg succeeded in inserting a proviso that required the Class program’s reality to match Democratic promises as a matter of law. If HHS couldn’t provide “an actuarial analysis of the 75-year costs of the program that ensures solvency throughout such 75-year period,” it couldn’t be legally implemented.

HHS couldn’t do that, and now anywhere from half to two-thirds of the supposed deficit savings (depending on which 10-year window you choose) is gone. The rest will follow soon enough.

Abandoning CLASS also highlights one of the other main criticisms of the law: that it was thrown together hastily so that President Obama and congressional Democrats could salvage something from nearly a year of bumbling, fumbling and stumbling toward health reform. And as we were all taught as children, haste makes waste.

It’s the latest example of why Nancy Pelosi’s “pass it to find out what’s in it” statement will go down in infamy. And it’s yet another reason for members of Congress with any sense to work toward repealing the entire law and replacing it. The WSJ suggests an excellent way of doing that: Make the Gregg amendment apply to the entire law.

Do that, and the law should be dead in the water before the Supreme Court even gets a crack at it next year.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

100 comments Add your comment

It's a stretch

October 17th, 2011
8:29 am

CLASS-less Obama could always come up with some sort of “classy” death panel promotion.

carlosgvv

October 17th, 2011
8:29 am

All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare. We are the exception. There are no viable excuses for this. Corporate greed, pure and simple, is the culprit.

Cosby

October 17th, 2011
9:24 am

another example of how the Obama administration is flim flamming the public. his jobs act will follow suit. when will the dumb masses ever wake uop and realize this man, as Neil Boortz puts it, is more dangerous than 9-11. Sham upon sham

Lynnie Gal

October 17th, 2011
9:28 am

So, conservatives would dump old people out on the street after bankrupting them for medical bills rather than help them to provide for retirement homes. And gut Medicare. And force people to give their Social Security to Wall Street. Their war on the old, the sick, the helpless, the poor and the middle class goes on. And on. And on. Ad nauseam.

MarkV

October 17th, 2011
9:39 am

The Republicans have no plan to make health care, including long-term care, more affordable for most Americans, and they react with glee when an attempt to provide a voluntary program for a long-term care turns out to be unworkable. It tells us a lot about them.

Obozonomics

October 17th, 2011
9:43 am

Lynnie Gal,
The way we do now, right? Do you really believe that, if you do you don’t live in the real world..

Get Real

October 17th, 2011
9:44 am

Get a grip liberals, the numbers do not foot; they never did…

Obozonomics

October 17th, 2011
9:46 am

I don’t understand why liberals even live in America, you seem to hate it, but remember you are free to immigrate to Cuba any time you want. I hear that Michael Moore says it is great there. Just think you can live in the leftist values you all cherish right?

USMC

October 17th, 2011
9:48 am

“All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare. We are the exception. There are no viable excuses for this. Corporate greed, pure and simple, is the culprit.”
–Carlos

Go buy your own Healthcare coverage, Carlos. We are not going to foot the bill for your sorry arse! :-)

BULLSEYE

October 17th, 2011
9:55 am

Just more rightwing bootlicking from Kyle and a hearty three cheers from the rest of the schmucks.

JF McNamara

October 17th, 2011
9:57 am

Yeah, The Republicans “won”. In the mean time, I just enrolled for my annual health benefits. Guess what? The premium went up and the coverage went down.

I don’t care about ObamaCare except that it seemed to be a step in the right direction to solving my problem. Who is honestly trying to help to solve my problem of rising health care costs?

A Conservative Voice

October 17th, 2011
10:11 am

@carlosgvv

October 17th, 2011
8:29 am

All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare. We are the exception. There are no viable excuses for this. Corporate greed, pure and simple, is the culprit.

To carlosgvv – Are you commenting from Wall Street in New York where the rest of the idiots are?

MiltonMan

October 17th, 2011
10:13 am

Libs on this board – about as bright as a burnt out light bulb.

Their illogical belief system = make healthcare “free” to everyone; the US needs universal healthcare just like the other western countries, etc., etc.

Libs – brainwashed since youth that everything is free – free cable, free education, free internet, free school lunch, free government checks, etc., etc.

Western countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc., etc. have “free” healthcare & look at their crappy econimies.

ragnar danneskjold

October 17th, 2011
10:27 am

The WSJ – may have been the same article – highlighted another obvious truth: the Obama administration implemented programs extending and broadening coverage, while ignoring changes that would control costs. The American public was more concerned with controlling costs than with broadening coverage. More bass-ackwards democrat policy-imposition, but what did anyone expect.

Of course, the bonus with ObamaCare is the ripple effect on the economy – by adding a “per employee” expense, of unknowable magnitude, the overlords have given every employer a strong incentive to dispose of as many current employees as possible, and to use every mechanism possible to avoid adding employees. As the Iranians say, thank goodness the US is run by democrats.

Bill Hilly

October 17th, 2011
10:29 am

Western countries like Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Brazil, and Chile etc., etc. have “free” healthcare & look at their robust econimies.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
10:34 am

carlosgvv: All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare.
————————–

False. They don’t “give” them anything. Their citizens have agreed to be taxed in order to “pay” for universal health care.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
10:36 am

BULLSEYE: Just more rightwing bootlicking
————————-

It wasn’t bootlicking that forced your Idiot Messiah to admit that this part of his Obozocare program was a sham, a failure, and an early precursor of the failure of the rest of his economy-wrecking healthcare power grab.

Obozo: Fail.

Centrist

October 17th, 2011
10:37 am

These smoke and mirrors fell down, and that is AFTER we have had over 1,000 Obamacare waivers for favorite corporations and unions (who just coincidentally give campaign contributions).

We have a lying, corrupt government and a mostly compliant media since leftist politics suits them more than highlighting policy problems.

Don't Tread

October 17th, 2011
10:52 am

Maybe if we could attach the Gregg amendment to EVERYTHING, all this money-wasting will stop…

MarkV

October 17th, 2011
11:01 am

Nobody who is sane, not even the most leftist liberals, believe that “free healthcare” means that nobody pays for it. When you get a “free sample” in the store, or a “free gift” through mail, they also are not “free” in that sense. “Free universal healthcare” is just shorthand for healthcare costs shared by all. Those with private health care insurance also take advantage of cost sharing, but by a smaller group, and including paying for the administration of the insurance and profit of the company.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
11:03 am

If “free universal healthcare” is such a great idea, why didn’t a filibuster-proof Democrat senate and Democrat house pass it?

Dusty

October 17th, 2011
11:08 am

Way to go, Kyle, You got it. The “blumbling, fumbling, stumbling” of the Obama administration can’t figure the cost of penny candy. They couldn’t figure the cost of healthcare but “sold” it to us anyway. NOW they back off.

As liberals declare the beauty of national health programs in other countries, they do not remember the tax rise that goes with it. Denmark, for example, where citizens are taxed over 50% of their income. Much the same in all countries with national healthcare.

Also, you liberals might have noticed that the UK health system just declared that it would not pay for the latest cancer treatment drug because the drug was too EXPENSIVE.

Yeah, treatment for everyone so called “free” because they “don’t have to pay for it”. Ignorance is not bliss. It is sad.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
11:10 am

Bill Hilly: Western countries like Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Brazil, and Chile etc., etc. have “free” healthcare & look at their robust econimies.
———————

Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland do too, so what’s your point?

And oh, by the way, Brazil and Norway have robust economies because their government isn’t moronically in opposition to oil and gas drilling. That’s where most of their income comes from.

The U.S. didn’t become the most important, wealthiest, and strongest nation in the world in just 150 years by doing what everybody else was doing. Deal with it.

Dusty

October 17th, 2011
11:12 am

Don’t tread @ 10:52

Your comment is a fine idea. I hope someone is listening. Stop the waste!

Hillbilly D

October 17th, 2011
11:16 am

In my opinion, there was a window there where something could have been done to improve the health care system. Obama chose to let Pelosi and Reid do the heavy lifting. He preferred to remain above the fray and never convinced people why it was the way to go. He has only himself to blame; he didn’t lead. It’ll probably be 20-30 more years before another opportunity roles around to look at fixing things.

Jimmy62

October 17th, 2011
11:18 am

Lynnie Gal: Funny…. From a factual perspective, Obama wants to gut Medicare, has even said so a number of times. ObamaCare is designed to gut Medicare. Go read the facts, you might learn something. I doubt it since you will discount anything not straight from a hard core liberal, but who knows? Maybe you’ll open your mind for once.

Bart Abel

October 17th, 2011
11:19 am

RE: “New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg succeeded in inserting a proviso that required the Class program’s reality to match Democratic promises as a matter of law.”
—————————————————————————————–
They’re calling it “the Gregg amendment.” What chutzpah!

I continue be amazed with how confidently some can take credit for things they had little or nothing to do with. With due respect to Republican Senator Judd Gregg, he ultimately had no say in the final legislation that he had no intention of voting for and did not vote for. If Democrats didn’t want the provision in the legislation, it wouldn’t have been there. Inserting it, or not removing it, didn’t gain or lose them one Republican vote–including Gregg’s.

Let’s not forget the problem that CLASS was trying to solve…how to provide access to cost-effective long-term care for seniors. The problem still exists.

Jimmy62

October 17th, 2011
11:21 am

MarkV: The right has had plenty of ideas, they just get ignored in the rush to give everyone free stuff paid for by other people. I won’t list those ideas here, because those ideas are already listed in innumerable places. You’d have to actually demonstrate an interest in anything a right winger has to say, though, and typically lefties dismiss everything the right says without even thinking about the content.

Yep

October 17th, 2011
11:26 am

Even ObamaCare will not fix one of the major problems with our current system. It only addresses actual taxpayers and confiscating their money to pay for universal care. The problem is that there are too many occupants of this country that are not even on the tax rolls that take advantage of our current and future health care system. We will never shake that yoke unless we have other immirgration and entitlement reform that pushes these “taker” into the light and forces them to pay their fair share.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
11:31 am

“The problem still exists”
—————————

Wow, you obviously care deeply about this issue. Don’t let the lack of a government run program stop you from contributing. Here is a non-profit long term care facility that you can donate do directly:

http://www.christiancarehome.com/donations.html

Didn’t think so.

Bob

October 17th, 2011
11:34 am

MARKV – I would rather be in the smaller pool with the responsible adults then in the large pond of leaches. Conservs are not out to Kill Granny, We take Granny in and take care of her. It is the Libs that want to Dump Granny in an institute and make others pay for her.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

October 17th, 2011
11:40 am

“All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare. We are the exception. There are no viable excuses for this.”

Yes there is. We live in a Constitutional republic where freedom and self-reliance is more important than living off the government.

Paulo 977

October 17th, 2011
11:41 am

carlosgvv

October 17th, 2011
8:29 am
All of the industrialized Western countries manage to give their people universal healthcare. We are the exception

—-for all our talk about SOCIAL JUSTICE!!!

JKL2

October 17th, 2011
11:42 am

What do they mean by “solvent”? It’s free insurance. What part of “free” do they not understand?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

October 17th, 2011
11:43 am

“The Republicans have no plan to make health care, including long-term care, more affordable for most Americans”

Missed the 7 different GOP-sponsored bills stuck in Democrat-controlled committees back during the health care debates, did ya ?

Dusty

October 17th, 2011
11:45 am

HillBilly D,

I think I might disagree with you on whether Obama was leading on this healthcare program. I think he guessed that is was probably impossible to work effectively. That it was far more costly than estimated.

But…he pushed it forward anyway without any study because he knew it pleased a great many Americans in the belief that it was “free”. He knew that it would get votes and that is his continued aim.

Pelosi and Reid are just dedicated followers of the Democratic lead. They too push anything that might please voters.

Somewhere long ago our leaders forgot to do what is best for the country. Now it is what is best for the “party”. But I believe Americans are still looking for a man or woman who leads for the country. I don’t think that is asking too much. I think it maintains freedom.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
11:46 am

“Social justice” is for folks who can’t cut it.

Crenshaw8

October 17th, 2011
11:50 am

Latino voters have a complicated relationship with the health care reform law approved in March 2010. On the one hand, they support the majority of its provisions and oppose its repeal. But just like other voters, they are against the clause that will force them to purchase coverage, the so-called mandate.

These are some of the results of an impreMedia/Latino Decisions (IM-LD) poll in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. This is the fifth in a series of six national polls exploring the opinions of the Latino group that has best integrated into American society: registered voters. This particular poll focused on the issues of insurance coverage and the health care reform law.

The results reveal that 50 percent of Latino voters support the Affordable Health Care Act and only 29 percent support its repeal. These numbers are similar to those of the general population.

However, 59 percent of these voters are not well disposed toward one of the law’s regulations, which makes it mandatory for them to purchase insurance if they do not have coverage. They are against it.

Obamacare cannot exist without the mandate. Choose freedom from government or government mandating where, when, and how you will receive medical attention.

I choose freedom from government.

resno2

October 17th, 2011
12:02 pm

MarkV
“The Republicans have no plan to make health care, including long-term care, more affordable for most Americans, and they react with glee when an attempt to provide a voluntary program for a long-term care turns out to be unworkable. It tells us a lot about them.”

Who does really it tell alot about when 50% of the supposed healthcare savings was wrapped up into a scheme that they had to have know at the time was not financially sustainable?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 17th, 2011
12:06 pm

“Republicans react with glee when an attempt to provide a voluntary program for a long-term care turns out to be unworkable. It tells us a lot about them.”
——————————

Incorrect. Republicans react with glee when reality slaps morons in the face. This doesn’t tell us anything about Democrats though, because we already knew they were morons.

Dusty

October 17th, 2011
12:12 pm

The USA offers many programs for healthcare. If you do not know about them, download the USA DIRECTORY OF HEALTHCARE OFTIONS.

Our country is not letting people die on the streets without healthcare. In fact, people from other countries are coming here to get the best. I think we can solve our problems here without copying others. We have the freedom that inspires solutions and we can do it again. But I think it will require a new leader with a vision beyond his own self interests.

Jefferson

October 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

The GOP has nothing to offer to solve the health cost problem. NOTHING.

Finn McCool

October 17th, 2011
12:43 pm

Western countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc., etc. have “free” healthcare & look at their crappy econimies.

Yeah, and Germany, and Norway, and Denmark, and Belgium, and France – look at their economies….oh, wait….

Finn McCool

October 17th, 2011
12:43 pm

How is Canada’s economy doing? They have state health care.

GT

October 17th, 2011
12:45 pm

Wasted resources on the rich while the rest of the 99% die on the vine. I will like to see the 1% operate without the rest of us. I can assure you the 99% could operate without the 1% and if the money was redistributed to the real working class there would be plenty to cover health insurance.

Rafe Hollister

October 17th, 2011
12:51 pm

Well, 2012 is going to put an end to the whole sorry mess, aka, Obamacare. Rasmussen’s latest poll, Cain 43%-Oblamer 41%. Kinda ends the elites cry of only Romney stacks up well against the worst President in American history.

All of you whinners worried that Granny can’t find a place in the nursing home are full of it. My Dad was in two large nursing home, he was one of two private pay patients in one and the only private pay patient in the other. Both places came to us and asked why are you paying, everyone else is on Medicaid, why are you not. Our answer was we do not qualify, too many assets, and we are not going to do like many here and cheat by having family members grab the assets. He saved the money to pay for this expense, why then give it all away, and wait for the IRS to pounce and demand that the money be recouped. No one goes without nursing home care in America, too many nursing homes know how to get you qualified for Medicaid.

Bob

October 17th, 2011
12:51 pm

Finn, Canada is doing quite well. They did exactly the opposite of what Obama and dems did when our economy tanked, they slowed spending and did not implement losing programs like the failed stimulus or cash for clunkers. Your point is “mute” !

Rafe Hollister

October 17th, 2011
12:58 pm

GT, you are so short sighted. The evil rich are the ones that provide money and opportunity so that ideas get implemented.

If Steve Jobs depended to the poor and middle class for financing he would still be tinkering in his garage. He did not have the money to develop and distribute his PC until he floated an IPO on Wall street. Can you imagine him trying to explain this great idea and pick up some funding at an Occupy Wall Street rally.

Justin

October 17th, 2011
1:01 pm

Jefferson

October 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

The GOP has nothing to offer to solve the health cost problem. NOTHING

I totally agree with you! And it amazes me how they invoke God in everything, yet could care less if the elderly and poor are disadvantaged. That says a lot about the republican party.

Rafe Hollister

October 17th, 2011
1:01 pm

Bob, you are so right. Germany did the same austerity program. Oblamer went over and met with the leaders of Europe and tried to sell his “plug the hole” with stimulus spending idea. Angela Merkel told him he was full of you know what that Germany was going to reduce spending and get a handle on their debt. One of them is bailing out Greece, the other begging for tax increases.