The bicameral Repeal CLASS Working Group today issued “CLASS’ Untold Story: Taxpayers, Employers, and States on the Hook for Flawed Entitlement Program,” a report detailing the insolvency of a massive new entitlement program included in the new health care law called the Community Living Assistance and Supports (CLASS) Act.
Documents obtained through a bicameral Congressional investigation reveal that the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was acutely aware that the program was unsustainable and suppressed this information from Congressional leaders and the American people prior to the passage of the law, all in the effort to achieve phony savings to offset the bill’s massive spending and taxpayer-funded price tag.
The Repeal CLASS Working Group is comprised of Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate charged with overseeing the implementation of the new health care law.
The Working Group’s key findings include:
Senior HHS officials publicly pronounced the CLASS program solvent in the fall of 2009, even as their own employees were calling CLASS “a recipe for disaster” in internal emails.
Secretary Sebelius and other HHS officials have claimed through much of 2011 that the Department has sufficient authority to modify the CLASS program to make it solvent, yet internal HHS documents from 2010 cast significant doubt on those assertions.
HHS has already discussed requiring employers to participate in CLASS as a remedy for low participation, which forces a fiduciary responsibility on employers to collect premiums that could open the door to a blizzard of litigation.
In addition to the $118 billion in unfunded Medicaid mandates from the health care law, the administration of the CLASS program will largely fall on the shoulders of the states.
“This report is further confirmation that the Obama Administration willfully chose to ignore the fiscal insolvency of the CLASS program in order to achieve a political victory by pushing the president’s health care bill through Congress,” said Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), co-chair of the Working Group. “The CLASS Act is a ticking time bomb that will place taxpayers’ money at risk due to fatal flaws in the entitlement program’s design and structure. The American people had a right to know the information revealed in our report before they were put on the hook to pay for this massive new entitlement program.”
The Working Group’s full report is available here.