Congressman Jim Matheson today voted to repeal a long-term care insurance program that was included in President Obama's health care law because the program was financially unsound and would have-- over time-- resulted in massive federal deficits. Matheson is a cosponsor of H.R. 1173, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.
"I have believed all along that this provision is a financial ticking time-bomb," said Matheson. "CLASS is a poorly designed program that would lead to a fiscal disaster for the taxpayer. This country faces challenges with long-term care, but the CLASS Act is not an appropriate solution."
Matheson said the CLASS Act was similar to long-term care plans available in the private sector in which workers sign up and pay a monthly premium. It was voluntary and was to be paid for entirely by the premiums from those who signed up. In return, subscribers would get a daily benefit. But analysis of the program concluded that not enough young healthy people would sign up, leading to unaffordable premiums for subscribers and a debt burden on the federal treasury.
"Repeal of the CLASS Act is the right decision and Congress should be considering real common-sense reforms that lower health care costs and allow greater access to quality care," said Matheson. "I support repeal of misguided elements of the health care law that are too costly, burdensome or overreaching."