Senator John Thune
Recently, taxpayers in South Dakota and throughout the nation were victorious over the threat of yet another unaffordable Washington-created program. As part of Obamacare, Democrats created a new long-term care entitlement program called the Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) Act that was aimed at providing substantial cash benefits to individuals who qualify.
While the program’s goals may have been well-intended, the CLASS Act is fatally flawed in its accounting and taxpayer dollars would likely have been required to shore it up. I have been asking the Obama Administration questions about this unsustainable program and pushing for its repeal for nearly two years. As part of this effort to protect South Dakotans from a future taxpayer-funded bailout, I have introduced legislation to repeal the CLASS program and co-chaired a working group which conducted an investigative report analyzing how the Obama Administration hid information about the program’s financial flaws from taxpayers even before it was passed and signed into law.
Fortunately, the Obama Administration recently admitted this program could not operate without large infusions of taxpayer funds in the future and decided to stop plans to implement the program. This is a significant triumph for all Americans.
Many South Dakotans may require long-term care in their later years, a benefit that is not covered by Medicare. That is why I introduced the Long-Term Care Act, legislation that would make it easier for individuals to plan ahead and purchase a long-term care insurance plan.
I believe our country needs to address the growing problem of long-term care needs, but the CLASS program was not the solution. A new program that could require billions of dollars in a taxpayer bailout is simply unacceptable. I am pleased that the Obama Administration has finally recognized the importance of abandoning this unsustainable program.