Tag: long-term care insurance program

Another one bites the dust?

Seems that last Friday, when they hoped the least amount of people possible where paying attention, that Sibelius and some of the other Obama Administration people finally came clean and admitted what every non-math & economics challenged person, i.e. conservatives, pointed out about the CLASS Act in Obamacare: only a damned liar would pretend this stuff could work. In an AP piece that no longer seems to be around – I wonder why? – we got the following revelation:

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.

Part of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the program is in limbo as a congressional debt panel searches for budget savings and behind the scenes, administration officials scramble to find a viable financing formula.

A longstanding priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, or CLASS, was spliced into the health care law despite nagging budget worries. Administration emails and documents reveal that alarms were sounded earlier and more widely than previously thought. Congressional Republicans seeking repeal of the program provided the materials to The Associated Press.

“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 healthy 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.

Don’t worry about this AP piece mysteriously vanishing, because the WSJ covers it as well:

Now that one of ObamaCare’s major new benefit programs has been scrapped, liberals are trying to make stone soup by claiming that the Obama Administration merely committed an act of “good government.” They claim that when this long-term care insurance program proved to be unworkable, the Administration conceded as much, and now it’s gone. So let’s review the evidence, not least because it so perfectly illustrates the recklessness that produced the Affordable Care Act.

When Democrats were pasting it together in 2009 and 2010, the immediate attraction of the program known by the acronym Class was that its finances could be gamed to create the illusion that a new entitlement would reduce the deficit. Ending the complicated Class budget gimmick erases the better part of ObamaCare’s purported “savings,” but it’s also worth focusing on the program’s long-run political goals.

For decades Democrats have been trying to put government on the hook for middle-class costs like home health services ($1,800 a month on average) and nursing homes ($70,000 to $80,000 per year). On paper, Class was supposed to be like normal insurance, funding benefits through premiums with no subsidy. But since the budget gimmick and the program’s larger structure meant that premiums could never cover benefits, Democrats were trying to force a future Congress to prevent a Class bankruptcy using taxpayer dollars.

Ain’t math and economics a bitch? What we have here is another attempt to socio–engineer gone awry. When they where pushing this as part of Obamacare, they where outright angered that people pointed out that it had taken some seriously ridiculous premises and preconditions, based on horribly faulty and unrealistic assumptions, for the CBO to conclude this program could be made revenue neutral. Maybe you have to be a progressive to believe you could run this expensive service like just another insurance program – a program that provided very costly benefits only to a very narrow spectrum of people most of whom could not afford them or the premiums on their own, which thus would attract very few, if any, other people that could then bring down the cost by spreading risk, without a clear constitution-violating mandate to force everyone to participate, like other parts of Obamacare now challenged in court do – and make it revenue neutral, but people that do not live in la-la-land knew better.

So after a year of trying to bend reality, they finally come clean and admit this shit can’t work without tax payers ponying up massive amounts of dough to cover the obvious shortfalls. Epic Fail! I am still flabbergasted that they knew this was impossible to make work long before they wrote that garbage into Obamacare, yet still went ahead and did it anyway. What’s the thinking behind that? Was the intent to just get the thing to stick then basically demand government make tax payers foot the obvious shortfall?

I also believe that this is likely the first of many more such revelations that Obamacare is replete with programs that are not going to pay for themselves, going to require rationing to keep costs down, and will in general cost the US tax payer oodles more. The claim by the leftists pushing Obamacare that they had a plan that was not just revenue neutral but also end up saving us over a hundred billion in a decade, are outright bullshit. It’s based on massive deception and gimmickry and amounts to, using an age old software development lingo coinage, nothing but a massive case of garbage in – garbage out, to get the CBO to score this as such.

I will give the progs credit for admitting this is unworkable and giving this boondoggle up, but I wonder why they did that and didn’t just leave the tax payer on the hook for the cost? Could there be some political posturing at work here? Enter the AARP, which still doesn’t want to give it up. Tax payers should pay for this because we like it and not paying for it is tantamount to killing old people! Awesome….