Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration's decision to discontinue a key component of its health-care law:
"To hide the true cost of their health-care overhaul, the leaders of the Democratic party loaded it with gimmicks and double-counting. One of the most egregious of these gimmicks involved the CLASS Act, a new long-term care program that was scored as an offset against the ten-year, trillion-dollar cost of the Democrats new law. Independent health care experts warned that the CLASS Act program would turn into a classic "insurance death spiral.' Not only would the short-term savings fail to materialize, but the long-term costs would prove catastrophically high. Even Democratic Senator Kent Conrad called the program "A Ponzi scheme Bernie Madoff would have been proud of.'
"Today, the Obama Administration finally surrendered to reality: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has informed Congressional leaders that she "does not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.' The smoke and mirrors that the Democrats employed to sell their health care overhaul are finally falling away, one broken promise at a time. When all of these gimmicks are stripped out, the new law would add hundreds of billions of dollars in red ink over the next decade, as health-care costs send the debt spiraling out of control. Now it is time for Congress to do the responsible thing: Repeal the disastrous new law and replace it with true, patient-centered reforms."