On Friday, the Obama Administration announced they were shutting down the CLASS Act, a long-term care program embedded in Obamacare. The reasons were simple: it’s not sustainable in the long term. Although its inclusion helped Obamacare score as reducing the deficit over the standard ten-year budget window, it would be under-funded for the remainder of its life, becoming yet another unsustainable entitlement.
The CBO this morning said that they consider repealing the CLASS Act to technically have no impact on the deficit, so repeal would be an easy process. Obama, however, issued a “not so fast” proclamation:
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.
[A]n 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.
There is a way this makes sense. The Obama Administration considers this unfunded entitlement to be a valuable liberal program, yet acknowledges that the math simply doesn’t add up. Unfortunately, Obama’s veto of a CLASS repeal means he has the intent of (gasp!) making the program work. There are a few ways to do so. One, the premiums to insure long-term care could be increased. The second option: they could fold in long-term care mandates into mandatory minimums to qualify for an insurance program under Obamacare. Third, and this would be the easiest, they could raise taxes on the general population to pay for it. And fourth, well, they could institute a mandate for CLASS!
None of these options are particularly appealing. The Obama Administration’s instransigence on an unsustainable and unwise program is telling.