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October 17, 2011

White House Opposes Repeal of CLASS Act, Even Though It Has Chosen To Not Implement The Program

I'm confused.

I suppose the reason Obama doesn't want a repeal is... momentum, maybe? Maybe if some parts of ObamaCare are repealed, he worries that will make future steps that much easier?

But the confusing part is that the Administration is saying it will work hard to implement the program it has decided not to implement.

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.

Now CLASS was going to be taking in billions of dollars before it was actually implemented -- voluntary enrollment fees, I guess. Some $30 billion or so of these hypothetical fees was used to claim that ObamaCare reduced the budget (because the program, like other elements of ObamaCare, was scored in a ten year window in which ten years of taxes & income were reduced by only five years' worth of outflow).

But... the CBO now says that suspending or repealing CLASS is "revenue neutral"? No, it's not, not according to the analysis they presented that permitted ObamaCare to be passed. (Remember, without reconciliation -- which can only be used for initiatives that reduce the deficit -- ObamaCare could not have passed).

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.

CBO had scored the long-term care program for people with disabilities as saving the nation $86 billion in spending over 10 years. That's about 40 percent of the health law's $210 billion in total estimated deficit reduction over the next decade.

Although this seems to make no sense, and further reveals that earlier "projection" as a political fraud, it does help, given that Republicans won't have to deal with the fiction "But multibillion dollar programs reduce the deficit!" when they seek a repeal.

Oh, And Harry Reid Lied: Shock, I know. Reid claimed CLASS was funded for decades and decades into the future... citing the CBO.



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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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