The provision for a long-term care insurance program that was included in the health care reform law adopted in 2010 has the potential to be a fiscal disaster. Known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, the provision was a voluntary, national insurance program to help workers pay for long-term health care services. I have believed all along that this provision is a financial ticking time-bomb. It was one of the reasons I voted against the health care reform bill.
The CLASS Act is similar to long-term care plans available in the private sector in which workers sign up and pay a monthly premium. Enrollees' premiums -- as voluntary payroll deductions- were to provide the revenue. But analysis of the program concluded that not enough young, healthy people would sign up, leading to unaffordable premiums for subscribers and ultimately a debt burden on the federal treasury. Bipartisan warnings about the program's viability were sounded as long ago as 2009, because it required an ever-increasing stream of premiums to cover the cost of benefits.
I support legislation -- H.R. 1173 -- that seeks to permanently repeal the CLASS Act. There is no question that our country faces challenges with long-term care. Long-term care insurance can be costly and difficult to purchase, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions. But the CLASS Act is a flawed attempt; repealing it would save taxpayers from an unsustainable entitlement program. Along with that effort, I strongly support a course in which we focus on common sense reforms that would lower health care costs overall and allow greater access to quality care. As always, I value your feedback. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below.
2nd District of Utah