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Public Statements

Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANCE. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of repealing the CLASS Act.

In hearings before the Energy and Commerce Committee, my colleagues and I learned that the CLASS program was a ticking time bomb fiscally, a new entitlement program that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said is ``totally unsustainable'' financially. Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote in 2009: ``Thirty-six years of actuarial experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant Federal subsidies to continue.'' And Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad has called the CLASS program ``a Ponzi scheme of the first order.'' To her credit, Secretary Sebelius in October called for an end of the CLASS program, adding that there was not ``a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.''

Madam Chair, we have a serious long-term care problem that is driving patients into bankruptcy and weighing down an overburdened Medicaid program. But before we can develop bipartisan solutions to address this important issue, we must first repeal the misguided CLASS program. Only then can we begin anew and properly address the long-term health care problem.

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