Last night, Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) voted in favor of H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, which passed the House 267-159. This bill repeals a portion of President Obama's controversial health care law.
"Today's vote would repeal The Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act - one of many costly programs in the President's health care law," said Hall.
Hall continued, "During the health care debate, The CLASS Act was touted as a self-sustaining program that would save $80 billion over ten years. The President and Congressional Democrats ignored warnings by non-partisan Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Chief Actuary Rick Foster that 'this program would collapse in short order.' Instead, the President and his Administration pushed the health care measure, which I voted against, into law on March, 23, 2010.
"Fortunately, Senator Judd Gregg included an amendment in the health care law requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to prove the CLASS program is solvent for seventy-five years. Due to the CLASS Act's severe financial flaws, Health and Human Services was unable to do so. In October of last year, Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted the program was not a cost-saver, confirming what we knew all along, and therefore suspended the program.
"Despite the program's efforts being halted, the CLASS program could be restarted at any given time if the Administration chooses to implement the CLASS Act as a mandatory program. Today's repeal vote ensures that this ineffective, expensive program would be officially terminated.
"The CLASS program is one of many flaws in the President's health care law. While I agree that long-term health care reform is vital, this new law is keeping our economy from getting back on track by increasing costs on businesses and discouraging businesses from creating new jobs. It also destroys the doctor-patient relationship.
"Congress has a responsibility to honestly address the health care challenges facing America. We need to work to increase health care quality, access, and affordability, and achieve these necessary reforms without higher taxes, higher costs, individual mandates, or a government takeover of health care. The American people should be back in control of their personal health care choices. I will continue to work towards this goal."