Obamacare Begins to Unravel

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In the midst of “things fall apart,” there is a ray of good news.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the AP reports, Oct. 15, 2011, with consummate journalistic objectivity [sarcasm!] that “The Obama administration’s signature health overhaul law, under relentless assault by Republicans, has suffered its first major casualty – a long-term care insurance plan.”
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports or CLASS program, a long-standing priority of the late Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy, includes not only nursing homes, but such services as home health aides for disabled people.
CLASS was supposed to begin next year but was dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.
Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home or to help with nursing home bills.
But CLASS had a central design flaw. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.
After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally acknowledged in a letter to congressional leaders Friday, she does “not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”
The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place. But officials said they discovered they could not make CLASS both affordable and financially solvent while keeping it a voluntary program open to virtually all workers, as the law also required.
Monthly premiums would have ranged from $235 to $391, even as high as $3,000 under some scenarios, the administration said. At those prices, healthy people were unlikely to sign up. Suggested changes aimed at discouraging enrollment by people in poor health could have opened the program to court challenges, officials said.
In 2009, nearly a year before Obamacare passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare, warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.
Proponents, including many groups such as AARP that fought to pass Obamacare, have vowed a vigorous effort to rescue CLASS, insisting that Congress gave the administration broad authority to make changes.

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0 responses to “Obamacare Begins to Unravel

  1. This is so easy to fix, 1- Pass a law that allows insurance companies to sell in all 50 states and to everybody regardless of condition, 2- Get the government out of the way, completely. 3- fixed, they will compete against each other and the cheapest, best deal will sell more and the others will cut costs to catch up. Thats how this country got to where it is, before the government got involved and screwed everything up.
    Next do away with the IRS, go to a fair tax like Cain is proposeing and with the money saved doing away with the IRS pay back the Social Security fund and keep thier greedy hands out of it and that will fix that mess.

    • dh,
      Can we nominate you for POTUS 2012? 😀

    • hmmm, not sure the private sector is the way to go with health care, a combined approach perhaps. Private but with gov. oversight, regulations and cost control. You really want the lowest bidder to win your health care contract “cut costs” as you put it means cheaper medications, sub par operating equipment un qualified health care workers, improperly sterilized equipment, single use equipment being reused, etc….I have seen many health care models in place in places I have worked across north america and europe, there is no perfect model but pure gov.’t control doesn’t work nor does pure private…..a hybrid system is needed. health care is just going to get more nd more expensive, life expectancies have risen, we need a solution soon.

  2. Good! Unravel and dismantle this nightmare, fine by me.

  3. The Dear Ruler doesn’t care, because he isn’t interested in long-term care.
    The death panels will ensure that long-term care will not be an issue.

    • “death panels” ? Typical conservative hysteria and scare mongering, get real.

      • Obviously you haven’t been paying attention.
        Rationing is part of every socialized medicine program on this planet.
        Some group or other decides who gets treated and who doesn’t.

        • that is completely false. I work in a socialized health care system in canada. Everyone is treated well and with world class care. Michael douglas was misdiagnosed in the usa, we found his throat cancer right here at this hospital and treated it. He was so gratful for the outstanding care he held a benefit for us. We are currently traing over 75 medical students and residents from the usa, who chose a socialized health care system in which to train. STOP spreading ignorant untruths and outright lies about something you know nothing about. I love the american system, in which I worked for many years. I couldn’t treat a patient I wanted or with the best medicines because the private insurance companies and hmo’s wouldn’t allow it. The patient’s life wasn’t worth the medication that cost 50$ more. That’s how much you are worth to them. Inswitzerland and canada I have access to any medication and treatment i feel is best for the patient without worrying about ceo’s, insurance, hmo’s etc… So get your facts staraight and get your head out of your ass. Stop buying into and believing the lies being told to you by others whose interest doesn’t include you. HEY eowyn, you’re right i’m boiling mad when it comes to ignorant lies like this….good grief indeed.

  4. Let this healthcare ‘rope’ around the neck of the American people unravel at both ends as far as I’m concerned… the sooner the better! It was shoved and pushed through radically and w/o regard for, what I believe was against the majority of us.

    • what’s against the majority? Helping your fellow citizens? What has happened that the majority of people don’t care about the minority? As spock said “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the one/few”

      • Karl Marx said, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
        Your point?
        Do you honestly believe people should be allowed to use the police powers of government to confiscate what is earned by the productive and given to the non-productive?
        Where does it end?
        I’ll answer that one for you:
        A bankrupt nation, that’s where – one that is now over $132 Trillion in the hole and staring extinction right in the face because of all this so-called “compassion” for the poor, poor, pitiful poor.
        In case you haven’t noticed, the percentage of the American population living in “poverty” hasn’t really changed since the 1950s, despite the redistribution of Trillions of dollars of OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.
        Has it ever occurred to you that the rich keep getting richer because they continue to do the things that made them wealthy to begin with, and the poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing the same things that made them poor in the first place?

      • micro – What’s with the empty and unfounded implications? My caring and compassion is one reason I was in the healthcare field for nearly two decades! …The Obamacare merry-go-round is one ride I and a huge majority, yes, majority of people will not be taken for a ride on of overspending us into oblivion! Most true Christian Conservs. I know are the ones that – when it gets even tougher still, will be the ones helping someone somewhere when all others have turned their backs…


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