One of the most criticized elements of Obama’s Affordable Care Act was CLASS, a federally-sponsored long-term care insurance program that had idealistic goals and (to industry insiders at least) very obvious holes.
In theory, CLASS was designed to function like any other insurance program, collecting premium payments across a diverse group, and ultimately paying for home health care or nursing home care of aging beneficiaries. The program’s flaw? It’s incredibly low premium rates, which could never cover the cost of benefits, meaning that ultimately, CLASS would end up being just another entitlement program.
Prior to scrapping the program, Democrats toyed with the idea of making CLASS mandatory, in order to guarantee a sufficient premium pool. But when asked to prove that the program could sustain itself without drawing on federal money, HHS was forced to admit it could not.
Now, the ball is in the Republican’s court. The could stop with the CLASS Act repeal — or they could request this same accountability from other parts of PPACA, and see how the rest of the law upholds in the face of financial scrutiny.