Repeal of Long-Term Care Provision of Health Reform Heads to House

January 19, 2012 ( - The House Ways and Means Committee voted to repeal a voluntary long-term care insurance program.

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and is supposed to provide for voluntary, self-funded, long-term care insurance through the workplace.  

The program was expected to go into effect this year, but in October 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services announced that CLASS, which features unlimited lifetime benefits, was not financially sustainable and halted its implementation, according to HealthLeaders Media.  

HR 1173, was first introduced in March 2011 by Representative Charles Boustany Jr. (R-Louisiana). In his opening remarks to the Committee, Boustany described CLASS as "a new unfunded entitlement that we cannot afford." HealthLeaders Media said Boustany cited a Congressional Budget Office report that said CLASS "cannot be operated without mandatory participation to ensure its solvency."  

A vote by the full House of Representatives is expected in February. Although the bill is expected to pass in the Republican-led House, an effort to repeal CLASS in the Senate has failed to gain any serious traction, according to the news report.

Rebecca Moore

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