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 advocates of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act 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.
While HHS is having problems with the start-up of the program as initially passed, in the long run the program will save money on health care expenses and help reduce the deficit according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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 reform law’s $210 billion in total estimated deficit reduction over the next decade.