Oct 15, 2011 3:21 PM GMT
Republicans on Capitol Hill are having an I-told-you-so moment after the Obama administration admitted late Friday that the CLASS Act, a major component of Obamacare, is unworkable.
CLASS, which stood for Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, was a pet project of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. It was supposed to help Americans pay the cost of long-term care. During the health care debate in 2009 and 2010, Democrats claimed that the program would not only pay for itself but would actually reduce the federal budget deficit. At the time Obamacare passed, Democrats claimed the law overall would cut the deficit by $140 billion over the next ten years; about $70 billion of that was supposed to come from the CLASS Act.
But even then, lawmakers of both parties knew that CLASS was unworkable. Democrats structured the program to collect premiums for years before beginning to pay out benefits — thus, it appeared to reduce the deficit when it would in fact greatly increase the deficit once it began making payments.