House committee votes to repeal CLASS

The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act from healthcare reform.

The repeal of the CLASS program, which was intended to provide insurance for long-term care, was included in the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act approved by the committee. The bill now moves to the full House for a vote.

The Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act was sponsored by Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), who referred to CLASS as a “Ponzi scheme” in an op-ed for POLITICO on Tuesday.

“I urge my House and Senate colleagues to support this CLASS repeal,” Boustany wrote. “We should instead make it easier for disabled Americans to save for future needs, expand access to affordable private long-term care coverage and better educate Americans about the need for retirement planning.”

Implementation of CLASS was halted last fall after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said her agency had not identified a way to make the program financially viable. Shortly thereafter, the White House said it did not support a repeal of CLASS despite the Obama Administration shutting down its implementation indefinitely.

Only one Ways and Means Committee Democrat, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), voted in favor of repealing CLASS on Wednesday.

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