CLASS Act may be dismissed, but need for care still growing

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60 Seconds with...Larry Minnix
60 Seconds with...Larry Minnix
Prospects for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act appeared to fade at press time.

But the challenge of paying for long-tem care is only growing, according to LeadingAge. That message was delivered forcefully at the organization's annual meeting in Washington last month.

Like many of the people it was intended to help, the government's long-term disability program suffered a slow, painful death. In the end, the The CLASS Act found itself without the money or friends it needed to stay alive.

As doubts about its sustainability grew, few in Washington expected that the Obama administration would move to implement the CLASS Act. Even before Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said regulators were unable to make the plan work, staffers had been shifted to other projects.

Meanwhile, President Obama's silence on the issue also seemed to send a strong message on how the White House really viewed the plan.

In fact, the only reason the measure was not dropped sooner was probably a unique poison pill: The measure had been scored to cut more than $180 billion from healthcare outlays over a decade. But analysts derided those projections.