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Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. JENKINS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

There aren't many areas where the former Kansas Governor and current Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and I agree, but one thing that we do agree on is that the CLASS Act portion of the President's health care package is completely unviable and needs to be stopped.

That's why I was glad to hear the Secretary backtrack on her prior support and pull the plug on the program, and it's why I support a statutory repeal of the CLASS Act today. This act was designed as a new national entitlement for purchasing community-living assistance services, and it was used by this administration as a pay for to substantiate their faulty claim that ObamaCare was going to reduce the deficit.

However, as I and many others pointed out at the time, the deficit reduction claim was bogus and based on budget gimmicks that proved false when HHS began implementation. You see, the CBO can only project the cost of bills in a 10-year budget window, so the Obama administration used a budget trick by setting up the CLASS Act to begin collecting premiums in 2012 but not paying out benefits until 2017. Great for years 1 through 10, but very bad for years 5 through 15 or later.

This gimmick led CBO to report that the program would reduce the deficit, but it certainly doesn't take a CPA to realize that these initial savings can't be sustained over time. While we anxiously await the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare's individual mandate, I urge my colleagues to support the repeal of this failed portion of the bill today so we can get this budget gimmick off the government's books.


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