ObamaCare's Belly Flop | Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act | United States Government

September 16, 2011

ObamaCare’s Belly Flop
Administration Shunned Warnings That The Underfunded Community Living Assistance Services And Supports Program Would Go “Belly-Up”
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“Even As Leading Democrats Offered Assurances To The Contrary, Government Experts Repeatedly Warned That A New Long-Term Care Insurance Plan Could Go Belly Up, Saddling Taxpayers With Another Underfunded Benefit Program, According To Emails Disclosed By Congressional Investigators.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)
IF THE CLASS PROGRAM DIDN’T SEEM “WORKABLE” IN 2009, WHY DID THE WHITE HOUSE SUPPORT IT?
Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster Warned That The CLASS Program Was “Unworkable” In 2009. “The emails show that the first warning about CLASS came in May 2009, from Richard Foster, head of long range economic forecasts for Medicare. ‘At first glance this proposal doesn’t look workable,’ Foster wrote in an email to other HHS officials, some of whom were working with Congress to get CLASS into the health care law.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)  To Be Financially Sound, The CLASS Program Would Have To Enroll “More Than The Entire U.S. Workforce.” “Foster said a rough outline of the program would have to enroll more than 230 million people – more than the U.S. workforce – to be financially feasible.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term
Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)

Even Foster’s 36 Years Of Experience Wasn’t Enough To Deter The Administration’s Support Of CLASS. “In July, Foster tried again. After reviewing the latest information from Kennedy’s office, he wrote HHS officials: ‘Thirty-six years of (professional) experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant federal subsidies to continue.’” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care
Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)

CLASS PROGRAM WAS A “RECIPE FOR DISASTER”
HHS Policy Official William Marton Warned That It Was “A Recipe For Disaster.” “Seems like a recipe for disaster to me,’ William Marton, a senior aging policy official in the administration, wrote in an October 2009 email. Marton explained his concern that large numbers of health people would not willingly sign up for CLASS, creating a predicament in which soaring premiums for a smaller group of frail beneficiaries would destabilize the program.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)
Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Marton Shared His Concerns On The CLASS Program With Administration Officials And Also Recommended Fixes. “By that time, Marton, the HHS aging policy official, was also chiming in. Emails he sent other administration officials relayed studies that raised concerns about such issues as premiums and the role of employers, while also recommending fixes.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The
Associated Press, 9/14/11)

OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE: TELL US SOMETHING WE WANT TO HEAR OR BE “EDGED” OUT OF DISCUSSIONS
Obama Administration Edged The Medicare Chief Actuary Out Of Internal Discussions Because He Raised Concerns About The CLASS Program. “The Obama administration had decided to support CLASS. In the months that followed, documents and emails indicate that Foster was edged out of deliberations. Officials relied on a more favorable analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “LongTerm Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)

Obama Administration Publicly Maintained The Program Would Work Itself Out But Privately, Officials Had Serious Concerns. “Publicly, the administration maintained it would all work out. A December 2009 presentation for senior officials stressed the end result would be a financially robust program. In private, administration insiders were still spelling out concerns. In January 2010, amid the final drive to pass the health care law through a divided Congress, officials circulated a 10-page list of ‘technical corrections.’” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated Press, 9/14/11)

ADDRESSING THE COSTS OF LONG-TERM CARE CONTINUES TO BE “UNMET”
Seniors’ Long-Term Needs Have Not Been Addressed And Experts Believe That The “Government Has Already Promised Seniors More Than It Can Deliver.” “But the program is on a collision course with powerful demographic and economic forces. How to pay the exorbitant cost of long-term care remains a major unmet need for an aging society. On the other hand, many economic experts believe the government has already promised seniors more than it can deliver, and now is not the time to launch another program likely to need a taxpayer bailout or new mandates." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Long-Term Care Plan Alarms Ignored,” The Associated
Press, 9/14/11)

Even If The CLASS Program Was Financially Feasible, The Administration Would Still Be Falling Behind In Implementing The Program. “The Obama administration will likely fall a year behind schedule in implementing a controversial piece of health care reform, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”
(Sam Baker, “CBO Expects Delay In New Health Care Program,” The Hill’s “Health Watch,” 8/24/11)

2 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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