• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Washington Post: Obamacare "Unsustainable"

    The Washington Post editorial board writes on the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act tucked into Obamacare:

    But both the Congressional Budget Office and the chief actuary for the Medicare program have expressed misgivings. The Medicare actuary, Richard S. Foster, cited “a very serious risk”: Adverse selection — sicker people signing up for the program and the healthier staying away — “would make the CLASS program unsustainable.” He said that even beginning premiums would have to be $240 a month. Likewise, CBO director Douglas W. Elmendorf warned that “the CLASS program could be subject to considerable financial risk in the future if it were unable to attract a sufficiently healthy group of enrollees.”

    The Washington Post is dead on. Here is how Heritage’s health care team analyzed the CLASS Act portions of Obamacare:

    The True Costs of the CLASS Act. The Senate bill, like the House bill, includes the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which would create a new government health care program for long-term health insurance. This provision creates a national insurance trust that would provide benefits for seniors and the disabled by creating a payment update in Medicare for skilled nursing facilities and home health care providers.

    The CLASS Act is intended to pay for itself with collected premiums. The premiums would produce positive revenues for the government for the first 10 years, appearing to reduce the federal deficit during this time. However, as the CBO points out, while “the program’s cash flows would show net receipts for a number of years, [this would be] followed by net outlays in subsequent decades.”[14] Thus, the CLASS Act appears self-sufficient for the first 10 years but starts running a deficit soon thereafter.

    Read Heritage’s full analysis here.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Washington Post: Obamacare "Unsustainable"

    1. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      There seems to be a theme here with the "surpluses" in the first 10 years, but "deficits" in the next 10 years. I guess this is the new scheme to make the bills sound "palletable" for politicans selling them. It still "kicks the can" down the road for the next administration or generation to attempt to "solve" the problem.

    2. Robert Cook says:

      Pretty soon the Chicoms will be running our country because they will be owed the most money. And what if they call us on our debt? Seems we just screrwed ourselves with the current administration. I am thrilled to say I used to be a Democrat. Thank god I saw the light and changed my affiliation. I don't want to be associated with the Dems that are running our country into the ground. Thank god for Rush and the conservatives.

    3. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      "…sicker people signing up for the program and the healthier staying away — “would make the CLASS program unsustainable." as stated in this article is not a problem.

      Americans will face jail time and/or a fine if they refuse to enroll. Problem solved. What does the Constitution matter? Besides it is a living, breathing, document, remember?

    4. carol, new orleans l says:

      According to Senator Sheldon white I am one of the lunatics

      opposed to the destruction of this country of mine by this administration of marxist thugs…Lunatic is the word that was

      attached to any and all dissenters in the Old Soviet Union. Any

      sane protests are deemed insane whether the protests come from

      the scientific community concerning the Green/Red movement to undermine our sovereignty and financial security by giving our

      hard-earned money to failed foreign countries as well as spreading it among countries that have long sought our demise

      on the world front or average American citizens who are honest

      patriotic indiviuals who believe in God and family and freedom.

      Those of us who are students of history need not be reminded that those in power have also studied history and are well aware of what it takes to bring down a people from within. Senator Sheldon should be reminded that the only viable contributions to literature to survive the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe in more recent years were written by dissenters

      and that the good scientists that Hitler branded lunatics and ran out of Germany went on to be responsible for many scientic

      breakthroughs that were of benefit to mankind..Our Senator from Louisiana never intended to not vote with her party on this invasive government tax scheme called "healthcare?" She just held out for more taxpayer dollars to be funneled into Louisiana, a state so gorged on Katrina monies that the

      corrupt New Orleans politicians stand in line for frontpage

      indictment coverage. Mary Landrieu has been at the trough for

      thirty years, like Pelosi, she is the daughter of a mayor. She is

      a member of old Louisiana politics. They run on the backs of the poor and stay at the top of a mountain of empty rhetoric

      and self-serving arrogance.She lied once again today when she said that "the people of Louisiana are for this bill", I am a citizen of Louisiana and I can name firsthand many, many ,many

      people that are not supporters of this insulting proposal, nor Senator Mary Landrieu. She never intended to vote any other way other than with her fellow liberal dems. She claims to be a moderate which means she has the mentality of a traitor, because she really blows with the wind and cannot be trusted by

      either side. These people always have their price. The working

      class and poor are always the might of the leftist agenda because they are mentally, and physically dependent on the

      mercy of the government and have never realised that if one is not self-made, there is no self…only a collective mass of

      humanity that begs to be enslaved. I have no time for those who

      can only resort to labelling and name-calling on a personal level rather than simply stand up and defend their ideology and

      admit what they hope to achieve not for themselves but for those they think incapable of thinking for themselves. It is still not too late for the young people who backed this administration to wake up and think about what path they are

      really on, not the one that they have been indoctrinated to

      follow based on some false sense of moral obligation. Lenin

      and Marx used sayings and twisted scripture to lay the chains of guilt on those they enslaved…the money always runs out

      but not before a price in human suffering has been paid a thousandfold. The hammer of communism hammers one into submission with repeated lies and propaganda and the sickle is used to behead any and all who dare speak out. Men in congress who are screaming at protesters who oppose them are not upholding democracy and free speech, they rather choose to silence any other voice of reason with a hammer of namecalling, and repeated accusations all the while encouraging anarchists to violent demonstrations on the behalf of their marxist takeoever agendas never realizing their own hypocrisy. Mary Landrieu has taken to television coverage

      this afternoon to justify her leftist agenda with the doublespeak, " I can't be bought", well she was bought and that is a fact no matter what she speaks, a truth trumps her lie. She also quoted the commerce clause to qualify mandates

      that are inconstitutional forced taxes on individuals. The more she speaks the more she reveals that she is a a hardened

      politician. She is arrogant and is lying.

    5. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Cloward – Piven strategy right on course.

    6. Ruth, Oxford, MS says:

      Why in heaven's name is the federal government sticking its nose into long-term care insurance? Over the past several decades, numerous insurance companies have developed this type of coverage. Benefits and hence premiums can be tailored to an individual's expected needs and budget. The earlier one buys in, the lower the premiums, which rarely if ever increase for the good companies. Getting Americans in their 50s and early 60s (or even younger) to consider such coverage may be a hard sell. Anything the feds do in this area is likely to cost more, be less flexible, and probably eventually turn into an entitlement of some sort. Looks like one more gimmick to make ObamaCare appear budget neutral.

    7. Jerry from Chicago says:

      The Medicare Actuary must be a racist, right-wing malcontent. How dare he cast doubt on the cost of Community Assisted Living Services? He must hate old people.

      Didn't Harry Reid prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Senate HC bill was going to reduce the national debt by providing health benefits to 30 or 40 million more people that currently don't Have any coverage.

      You have to understand the new math, wherein you set up a program, start taxing for it immediately, but then don't provide any payouts for a period of four or five years. At the end of ten years you say, "See, the taxes more than covered the costs and the difference brought down the deficit, just like we told you."

    8. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      I know that the Washington Post is slow, but they had to have backed up to discover this fact!

    9. carol, new orleans l says:

      The healthcare circus will continue while the marxist

      puppet enjoys his powertrip as his backers pull his strings..

      all he has to do is perform and read what is before him and enjoy the trappings that this free country affords its leaders.

      The Hurricane Katrina circus is still providing a perfect

      screen for corrupt officials to continue stuffing their pockets. Meanwhile crime is still raging in our streets and

      homeless people sleep in the cold all under the knowing eyes of

      career politicians who once in office never leave knowing that

      they only have to keep giving the same speech over and over again, look into their eyes..their eyes are empty and are windows to the darkness contained therein. The majority is beyond drunk on the wine of power, they have now become mad,

      no longer hiding their disdain and sense of superiority. I canot tell you the number of people I have talked to who are

      determined to clean our government of this scourge by voting

      to get as many out as we can and as many on local levels in who

      are people strength and devoted to liberty. I have acquaintances who helped vote these thugs in and even some of them are stammering

      and stuttering in disbelief. Of course they will never admit

      that they were wrong. That would nullify their servile mentality and jealous sense of entitlement to that which they

      have not earned and they would have to admit to laziness and

      wasted lives.

    10. Drew Page, IL says:

      I'm surprised that the current administration hasn't labeled the Medicare Actuaries as racist for expressing these views.

    11. Babbette says:

      Its interesting

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×