Sen. John Thune’s call to repeal Obamacare’s Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act was blocked Wednesday by a single Democratic senator. The South Dakota Republican sought a unanimous Senate vote, a move West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller opposed.
The CLASS program was designed to expand options for people who become functionally disabled, requiring long-term service and support. Thune claims the program is flawed, and even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said CLASS is not financially feasible.
“The epic failure of the unsustainable CLASS Act calls the president’s entire healthcare program into question,” Thune said. “It’s hard to understand why the president would wish to keep this entitlement in law. Instead of allowing this flawed program to sit on the books, Congress should listen to the budget experts who have outlined fundamental flaws with this program and swiftly pass my repeal legislation.”
Even though his repeal bill was blocked, Thune said supporters will keep looking for ways to end the CLASS Act “once and for all, so that we can move on to full repeal of the president’s healthcare house of cards and pass healthcare legislation that truly reduces healthcare costs.”
Thune has sought a repeal of the CLASS Act for some time, offering an amendment in 2009 during the Senate’s debate of Obamacare to end the program. The amendment received a 51-47 majority of votes in the Senate, including support from 12 Democrats, but still fell nine votes short of passage.
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