The House Ways and Means Committee last week endorsed legislation to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program.
The repeal bill, the “Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act” (H.R. 1173), was supported by a united Republican caucus and one Democrat. This follows a vote by the Energy and Commerce Committee in November to support legislation to repeal the CLASS program. The legislation will now move to the House floor where it’s likely to pass, though its fate is uncertain in the Senate. President Obama has also threatened a veto. Advocates of the program are opposing the repeal, citing the need for an alternative in place so the needs of seniors and the disabled are not ignored.
The CLASS program was included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed by Congress two years ago. It was designed to be a voluntary long term care insurance program for working Americans. Employees who become disabled after paying into the CLASS program for at least five years would quality for a daily cash benefit depending on their inability to perform activities of daily living.
Stay tuned to HMS for more information as details continue to unfold.