T Nation

He Can't Catch a Break

Obama pulls plug on part of health overhaul law

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a longstanding priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home, or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

After months insisting that 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…


I was gonna bump this again, but it’s locked.

This is devastating, both for the substance of the bill and the politics of it. As early as Monday, I believe there will be a vote to repeal this portion of the bill, and the optics will not be good.

I don’t know how anybody can deny that this guy is a hippified disaster.