Everyone was right recently when members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up H.R. 1173, the Kill the CLASS Act Dead Dead Dead (Really, Really Dead) Act bill of 2010.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the committee chairman, pointed out that the Obama administration’s own actuaries had acknowledged that the voluntary long-term care (LTC) benefits program was unsustainable and a “recipe for disaster” before the program provisions had even worked their way into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Upton pointed out that the administration’s own secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, has said HHS sees no way to go forward with the current version of the program.
“I believe we have to start over again on long-term care reform, an issue that will affect millions of Americans,” Upton said.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., very predictably does not like H.R. 1173, which was introduced by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., and would wipe out a program beloved by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., noted that the Republicans have been reluctant to talk about what they would replace the CLASS program with.
The bill “would tear down the only framework we have to deal with the nation’s long-term care crisis,” Waxman said. “The Republicans want to throw out CLASS and replace it with absolutely nothing.”
And, yes, Waxman was right. H.R. 1173 says nothing about creating a new long-term care insurance (LTCI) tax credit, or anything of the sort.