President Obama said Friday he has halted a health care insurance program that was portion of the massive health care law which was passed in 2010 due to cost concerns.
This program is called the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) and it was cancelled to find a way to make it more financially viable.
The secretary said that “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.” in a letter to Congress
The CLASS health insurance program was similar to some long-term care plans available in the private sector in which workers can sign up if needed and pay a monthly premium. It was totally voluntary and was to be paid for entirely by the premiums from those who signed up. In return, the health insurance subscribers would get a daily benefit.
But a senior administration official told a news journalist that there were big issues if the CLASS health insurance program could be self sustaining even when the national health care reform law was being considered by the Congress. And due to this, the lawmakers specified that the secretary had to decide that the health care insurance program would be sustainable for at least 50 years before certifying it.
“This could have led to a vicious cycle where premiums would have to be set higher and higher to cover the likely costs of benefits, leading fewer and fewer healthier people to sign up for the health care program,” the secretary mentioned. She said she wasn’t giving up yet.
“So even as we suspend work on implementing the health care insurance program, we are recommitting ourselves to the ultimate goal of making sure all Americans can get the long-term health care they need, whether it’s a working-age mom with disabilities who needs daily support right now or a young man at his first job who wants to protect himself and his family against the possibility of huge long-term health care costs in the future,” She mentioned.
Responding to the secretary’s decision, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement, “The Obama administration today acknowledged what they refused to admit when they passed their partisan health bill: the health care CLASS Act was a budget gimmick that might enhance the numbers on a Washington bureaucrat’s spreadsheet but was expected to fail in the real world.”
McConnell said the health care CLASS Act “is only one of the unwise, unsustainable parts of an unwise, unsustainable law.”
“We should repeal the health care CLASS Act and the rest of the health spending law and replace it with the type of common-sense reforms that lower costs and Americans support,” McConnell said. As of now, there is no solution out there and the universal health care seems impossible to happen in the United States since we can find a self-sustaining program which could dig a bigger financial hole for the Obama administration.