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Letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services - Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

We are writing with great concern regarding the Department of Health and Human Service's continued implementation of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. The CLASS program has not been funded by Congress and has been determined to be structurally and actuarially unsound. Your agency continues to push ahead with implementation of this program that the CMS Chief Actuary Rick Foster has said would be "unworkable" due to adverse selection and has warned that "ignoring 200 years of actuarial principles has consequences."

We are requesting details on the Request For Quotation (RFQ) 11-223-SOL-00338 to provide assistance to the Administration on Aging for "Promoting Long Term Care Awareness" and RFQ 11-233-SOL-00330 to provide assistance to the Administration Aging for "Developing a Strategic Brand for CLASS." We are also requesting an accounting of dollars from Section 1005 of P.L. 111-152, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, that are being used for the implementation of CLASS Act.

We have a duty to the US taxpayer to be accountable and transparent in allocating scarce federal resources. The two RFQs will likely spend a considerable amount of taxpayer dollars, and we would like an estimated annual and total funding level for CLASS contracting activity.

Last year, your agency spent $2.78 million to buy airtime for three cable TV ads, some of which featured Andy Griffith, and spent another $404,384 for a media consulting firm to produce the commercials. These commercials were aimed at informing Americans about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but were deceptive and misleading. We are concerned that your agency will use federal resources on television ads in an effort to mislead Americans that the CLASS Act is fiscally sound.

To gain a better understanding of the current status of implementation of this controversial program and how taxpayer dollars are being used, we would like this information by July 29, 2011. We look forward to your prompt reply.

Sincerely,


John Thune

Richard Shelby


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