It may be only a few days since Congress began its new session, but it has already done some decent work. This week, the House Ways and Means Committee held the markup of H.R. 1173, which would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
The CLASS Act is a government-run long-term care insurance program and a major failure of Obamacare. It has been described in a variety of degrading ways, most notably as unsustainable, an insurance death spiral, and a ponzi scheme of the first order.
From its creation, the CLASS Act was completely unsustainable as written into law. Due to the effects of adverse selection, the program would charge high premiums that would deter less risky individuals from participating. Indeed, participating in the CLASS program would only appeal to those in poor health expecting to need long-term care in the future, further escalating premiums.
Thankfully, the inherent policy flaws of the CLASS Act have been recognized, and congressional action is being taken. Representative Charles Boustany (R–LA), a physician and chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, is the sponsor of the repeal bill. In a recent Politico op-ed, he urges Congress to act and warns, “CLASS could return to haunt us if it isn’t fully repealed before October 2012. Legal experts at the Congressional Research Service warn that a federal judge could force [the Administration] to revive CLASS after this key deadline in the law expires.”
The CLASS Act, like the rest of Obamacare, is rife with problems. The repeal bill is expected to be taken up by the entire House in February.