The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), today approved H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program, by a voice vote. On October 14, 2011, the Obama administration halted implementation of CLASS, a controversial long-term entitlement program included in President Obama's health care law. However, despite the administration's admission that the program is unworkable, the program remains on the books.
"The intent behind the CLASS program, a voluntary program for long-term care insurance, was laudable," said Pitts. "Good intentions, however, do not make up for fundamentally flawed, actuarially unsound policies designed to show the illusion of savings. There are many of us who want to tackle the long-term care situation our country faces, but we realize that CLASS is not the way to do it."
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, "The failure of HHS to implement the CLASS program is not a surprise. However, it is a catastrophic consequence of what happens when Congress rushes to enact costly policies and dismisses warnings from independent experts. Most troubling are the budget gimmicks used to sell the CLASS program, and indeed, the entire law. Today, we voted to start over on long-term care reform--an issue that is important to all of us. We will begin that process, but first we must take CLASS off the books."
Earlier this year, the Energy and Commerce Committee, along with colleagues in the House and Senate, investigated the developments of the CLASS program--specifically, who knew about CLASS' financial flaws, when they knew, and why the American people were not told sooner.