From The Hill:
President Obama is against repealing the health law’s long-term care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government’s announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.
“We do not support repeal,” the official said Monday. “Repealing the CLASS Act isn’t necessary or productive. What we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country.”
Over the weekend, The Hill has learned, an administration official called CLASS Act advocates to reassure them that Obama is still committed to making the program work. That official also told advocates that widespread media reports on the program’s demise were wrong, leaving advocates scratching their heads.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday in a blog post on the liberal Huffington Post web site that the administration did not see a way to make the program sustainable. Sebelius indicated her agency hadn’t been able to figure out a way to ensure the program providing long-term care paid for itself as required by law.
Later in a call with reporters on Friday, an HHS official said work on the program was being suspended.
“We won’t be working further to implement the CLASS Act … We don’t see a path forward to be able to do that,” Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee told reporters on Friday.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, said Monday that repealing the program would not add to the deficit, making Republican repeal efforts that much easier.
The Obama administration sold the healthcare law with the argument that it would lower the nation’s long-term health costs, and the CLASS Act was an important reason why.
Read more here.