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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

CLASS Act: Not Dead Yet



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The House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved a bill to repeal the controversial long-term entitlement program — the CLASS Act — in Obamacare, following the administration’s admission that the Ponzi scheme program is unworkable. This vote paves the way for the full House of Representatives to vote on repealing the entitlement program.

“We must erase a program that we know will not work; a program that was never structured to work, and that we could never afford,” committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton said. “I believe we have to start over on long-term-care reform — an issue that will affect millions of Americans as they or a loved one need care.”

Three Democrats joined 30 Republicans on the committee to vote for repeal. But even though CLASS has been deemed unworkable by his own administration, and HHS Secretary Sebelius has pulled the plug on implementing it, the president still has vowed to veto any repeal legislation.

But if CLASS were left on the books, Secretary Sebelius might be required to find a way to implement it next year. The Congressional Research Service has concluded as follows: “Assuming that the Secretary takes no further action to comply with the CLASS Act’s statutory mandate to designate a benefit plan by October 1, 2012, the Secretary would appear to be committing a facial violation of the statutory requirement to designate such a plan.”

The report continues: “The Secretary does not appear to have discretion to decide whether or not to designate a plan by October 1, 2012.”

Given this, you might assume that Secretary Sebelius would encourage the president to sign the repeal legislation, lest she and her department face legal action for violating the law they worked so hard to enact.



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