There's been a lot of talk lately about what constitutes "comprehensive" health insurance coverage — and long-term care notably has not been part of this national conversation.
If there's one thing early January always delivers, it's a cornucopia of coming-year predictions. But as far as long-term care is concerned, it might be more helpful to look back to 1990. The newly minted fiscal cliff deal helps explain why.
Hours before the final presidential debate started Monday, LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix made it clear whom he thought long-term care providers need to vote for. While not outright campaigning for President Obama, Minnix said the incumbent's policies would be better for the future of the profession than those proposed by his challenger, Mitt Romney.
The Congressional Budget Office is still assessing the impact of the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act decision on the federal deficit and won't have an estimate until the end of July. That figure, when it's calculated, could either help or hurt Congressional Republicans' efforts to repeal the law.
Providers will be among the interested stakeholders watching closely for signs whether the Senate will follow the House's lead and vote to repeal the CLASS Act. Many observers believe the Democrat-led Senate will not, but there has been at least a minor shift in momentum for it recently. Various news reports have detailed what it could mean to have the dormant measure still on the books, and fiscal conservatives don't like it. Meanwhile, proponents of the first-ever government long-term care benefit continue to press their opponents with the question: If not CLASS, then what?
The House of Representatives repealed the CLASS Act on Wednesday night, although its future is far from clear. Many observers expect Republican efforts to repeal CLASS will die in the Senate, where there is likely not enough support to push through the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act.
As expected, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a bill on Wednesday repealing the CLASS Act.
With Congress back in session, House Republicans are back at trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act's disability insurance benefit.
If you're like most operators, you're probably staggering toward the end-of-year holidays. And your unsteady gait may have nothing to do with spiked eggnog.
Advocates for the CLASS Act can take some comfort in knowing that efforts for full repeal of the program are at a dead end, at least for the rest of this year.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health recommended a repeal of the CLASS Act Tuesday, according to published reports.
Senate Republicans are continuing to push for repeal of the CLASS Act.
Cancellation of the CLASS Act means there will be billions less going toward reducing the nation's net deficit, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. The Community Living and Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program was a part of healthcare reform law, the total of which the CBO estimated would reduce the federal deficit by around $143 billion in a decade. Of that, $81 billion was coming from premium payments for long-term care insurance through CLASS.
Although all signs point to the CLASS Act being shelved indefinitely, the program's former leader says the silver lining is the ongoing discussion about long-term care needs.
If opponents of the CLASS Act think they've beaten down or somehow subdued chief advocate Larry Minnix or his LeadingAge members, they have another thing coming. Despite a week of roiling controversy and confusion that has some official sources leaving it for dead, CLASS still has an active champion in Minnix. That much was abundantly clear in a video interview with McKnight's on Wednesday.
The Department of Health and Human Services may have shelved the CLASS long-term care benefit, but advocates of the program said mixed messages from the White House suggest otherwise. One major provider association said it would continue to fight to keep the program alive while another issued a statement Monday that was more resigned that the CLASS Act was all but dead.
When the White House effectively killed the CLASS Act, the program's most vocal advocates dug in their heels in hopes of resurrecting the long-term care insurance program.
The White House has asked the Senate Appropriations Health subcommittee to halt all funding for the CLASS Act for fiscal year 2012.
The chief actuary for the Department of Health and Human Service's CLASS Act program has said HHS is shutting down its CLASS office and that he no longer has a job, according to published reports.
Despite a report hotly questioning the merits of the CLASS Act late last week, defenders of the first-ever federal long-term care benefit say various tweaks could still save the embattled program.
Health and Human Services officials were concerned about the sustainability of the CLASS Act prior to the bill's passage, according to a new report.
A Congressional Budget Office update issued Wednesday indicates there will be a one-year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's long-term care insurance plan.
Although 66% of enrollees in the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance program saw an increase in premiums in 2009, almost half opted for the increase rather than taking a reduction in benefits or a lapse in coverage, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
A group of state legislators has said that it has "grave concerns" about the long-term sustainability of the controversial CLASS Act.
If you thought the last few weeks of politicians' stomach-turning brinksmanship over the national debt ceiling wasn't fun — and who did? — you have no reason to look forward to the end of November and December.
A bipartisan Congressional committee will be tasked with reforming entitlement programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, as part of a federal debt limit deal signed yesterday by President Obama.
The good news is politicians can always change their minds. The bad news is, well, politicians can always change their minds. That must be the mixed feelings that many providers — Larry Minnix and his faithful crew at LeadingAge foremost among them — carry in their heads right now. It was little over a year ago when President Obama finally signed sweeping healthcare reform into law, and with it the much-debated CLASS Act.
With lawmakers coming down to the wire to create a U.S. deficit reduction package, provides will be turning up the lobbying heat in an effort to keep the CLASS Act, and certain other important Medicaid and Medicare programs. It could be an uphill battle: Several prominent proposals have already recommended billions of dollars of cuts in healthcare funding.
Providers immediately ripped a new deficit-reduction proposal Tuesday that was announced by a bipartisan group of influential U.S. Senators and endorsed at least modestly by both the White House and some key Republicans. The nearly complete proposal, cobbled together within two weeks of the United States possibly starting to default on its financial obligations, would slash numerous areas of healthcare spending and eliminate the nation's first government-sponsored long-term care insurance program.
A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Wednesday. The circuit court affirmed a Michigan federal judge's previous ruling that Congress can mandate Americans to purchase health insurance.