Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Congressman Launches Effort To Stop The CLASS Act

A letter from Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) seeks cosponsors for proposed legislation (H.R. 5853) that reverse legislation creating a new federal long-term care program (CLASS). According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), CLASS will likely not be implemented until 2013. "If the plan is going to be changed now would be the time before employers have to evaluate the pros and cons and dollars are withheld from employee paychecks," Slome notes.

The Congressman's letter released reads as follows: Most Americans remain unaware of the CLASS program, a new government-run long-term care insurance program that was slipped into the health-care law.

Speaker Pelosi and her allies behaved recklessly when they used the CLASS program as a $70 billion budget gimmick to fund other portions of the new health-care law. Congress has a duty to stop the implementation of this new unfunded entitlement before a single premium dollar is collected from hard-working Americans.

Instead of setting money from CLASS premiums aside solely for promised benefits, Democrats used it to pay for other parts of the new health law and merely put an IOU in a government trust fund. Americans could be required to repay these IOUs in the form of higher taxes.

Actuaries and budget experts widely agree CLASS is fatally flawed. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad publicly called the program “a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing Bernie Madoff would be proud of."

The Congressional Budget Office, the American Academy of Actuaries and CMS’s own actuary warn the program will disproportionately attract enrollees with the highest costs. Premiums will skyrocket and discourage young and healthy workers from enrolling. The program will enter what Medicare Chief Actuary Rick Foster called “an insurance death spiral.”

The Chief Actuary predicted that CLASS will begin to run deficits in 2025 and continue to run deficits thereafter. He also estimated that an initial average premium of about $240 per month would be required to adequately fund CLASS program costs. CBO said CLASS “…would add to budget deficits in the third decade – and in succeeding decades—by amounts on the order of tens of billions of dollars for each 10-year period.”

I urge you to cosponsor the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act (H.R. 5853). This bill would stop the Obama Administration from implementing a final CLASS plan without a vote of approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Caregiver of Year Award: Entry Deadline July 26

Do you know a caregiver who makes a difference and deserves recognition? Nominate them for Caregiver of the Year award sponsored by Homewatch CareGivers.

I'm proud to be one of the judges for this most worthwhile effort. There are local recipients and the final national winner receives $5,000.

For more information click on the link below and hurry the deadline is July 26.


Jesse Slome
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance