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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 -2011
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How many times have Obama and his progressive minions been cautioned or outright told that his long-term care program was sure to fail because of the huge cost of the project? We can’t know for sure, but it looks as though he and they finally have caught a clue. The Associated Press, through their reporter, RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, says:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president’s signature health overhaul law – a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.
Targeted by congressional Republicans for repeal, the program became the first casualty in the political and policy wars over the health care law. It had been expected to launch in 2013.
Republicans have fought the plan since before it passed and proponents have insisted it is a viable program. Now after touting the program, Secretary Of Health and Human Services, Katherine Sibelius has admitted the program is not feasible:
After months insisting it could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted Friday she doesn’t see how.
“Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time,” Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place.
But officials said they discovered they could not make CLASS both affordable and financially solvent while keeping it a voluntary program open to virtually all workers, as the law also required.
Monthly premiums would have ranged from $235 to $391, even as high as $3,000 under some scenarios, the administration said. At those prices, healthy people were unlikely to sign up. Suggested changes aimed at discouraging enrollment by people in poor health could have opened the program to court challenges, officials said.
Those pushing this program were told by analysts and others back in 2009 the program was untenable and would deflate rapidly:
That’s the same conclusion a top government expert reached in 2009. Nearly a year before the health care law passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.
The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next ten years. That’s because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.
Many experts and ordinary citizens feel all aspects of ObamaCare are subject to the same foibles as long-term care. Whether ObamaCare dies on the vine or chokes to death by SCOTUS, it is not likely to get out of the chute before being hamstrung.
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