Saturday, October 15, 2011

Obama Administration To Scrap Portion of Health Care Reform As Too Costly

In response to the realization that a portion of the health care reform package was not going to ever work as hoped, the Obama Administration is scrapping a portion of the package dealing with long-term care programs.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said she had concluded that premiums would be so high that few healthy people would sign up. The program, which was intended for people with chronic illnesses or severe disabilities, was known as Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, or Class.

“We have not identified a way to make Class work at this time,” Ms. Sebelius said. She said the program, which had been championed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, was financially unsustainable.

Kathy J. Greenlee, the assistant secretary of health and human services in charge of the program, said: “We do not have a viable path forward. We will not be working further to implement the Class Act.”
This is a huge setback on the supposed cost savings anticipated from the overall health care reform package. Of the $210 billion in deficit reduction due to health care reform, $86 billion was attributed to the CLASS program. It's only going to add fuel to the fire that Congressional Republicans have been grousing about with the workability of the entire program.

The reason that the program is being shelved is that the premiums would have been too high and too few healthy people would have signed up to make the program work as intended.

That's a problem with all too many portions of the health care reform package - including the portions of the package that imposes penalties on people or businesses who refuse to sign up for health care insurance if they don't already have it.

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