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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Health, Housing, and Public Services
The CLASS gone
The Obama administration has announced it is pulling the plug on a long-term home care program included in the 2010 healthcare reform law. The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, or CLASS program, was designed to give the disabled and elderly cash to receive care at home instead of usually more expensive institutional care.
The administration estimated that although monthly premiums typically would have ranged from $235 to $391, they could have reached as high as $3,000 under some scenarios.
The program was co-authored by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey. Pallone criticized the Obama administration’s decision, saying, "While we are fighting so hard against Republican attempts to cut Medicaid ... abandoning the CLASS Act is the wrong decision. Soon enough, those in need will have nowhere to go for long-term care."
The end of the CLASS program eliminates an estimated $86 billion in savings that the health reform law was projected to generate. The overhaul is now expected to reduce the deficit by $124 billion between 2012 and 2021 (Aizenman, Washington Post, 10/14). Since there's not much love in families any longer and the relatives don't want to take care of you, they vote in laws so that the government will take care of you. And now that too has ended!
Ted Rudow III, MA