CLASS Repeal Bodes Badly for Obamacare, Sen. Thune Says

Tuesday, 18 Oct 2011 03:45 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Sen. John Thune says reports the Obama administration is ready to repeal Obamacare’s Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act bodes badly for the entire healthcare law. The South Dakota Republican also told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto Monday the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that repealing CLASS would not increase the budget deficit is another nail in the long-term care act’s coffin.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed Congress Friday there was no path close to solvency for the CLASS program. The act was intended to allow citizens to purchase insurance at any point during their careers for a low monthly premium, so they could collect additional income if they were later disabled.
“Well, I hope that we can get it repealed, Neil. The president said he would veto a repeal of the CLASS Act — even though his secretary of health and human services, who is responsible for implementing it, said it is not workable, and you cannot design this in a way that makes it work,” said
Thune, who is also chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. “That’s a conclusion that she came to which many of us knew months and months ago when this thing actually was passed in the first place.

“If they had listened to the repeated warnings from the experts in their own department, the actuary at the Health and Human Services said this program will not work and he said that way back before they pushed it through,” Thune said. “But this was something that they wanted a political win on and, unfortunately, to the detriment of the American taxpayer. But this is one of those rare occasions here in Washington where logic actually trumps politics — at least for now. But we need to push this thing through and get this thing repealed once and for all.”

Cavuto asked Thune whether CLASS repeal brings the survivability of Obamacare — the constitutionality of which could end up before the Supreme Court during its present judiciary term — into question.

“It does and it makes you wonder what other parts of the healthcare bill — what did they know that they are not telling us about other elements of this healthcare bill — because this was a massive new entitlement program that wasn’t paid for,” Thune said. “And they tried to get some premium revenue in the first few years that they could use to help pay for the healthcare bill, knowing full well that when they got into the later years and the demand on this program started to come in, that it was going to add to the deficit.

“The Congressional Budget Office came to that conclusion — the actuary came to that conclusion — these guys, the Obama administration repeatedly ignored the warnings that were coming out of their own administration that this will not work,” he said. “And so it does draw into question other elements of this bill now — but first and foremost what we ought to do is repeal this, get this off the book. Do not give them an opportunity at some point in the future to try and reactivate this — because this in its current incarnation, this doesn’t work.”

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