Obama Administration Folds CLASS Act Under Health Reform Law

The Obama administration has pulled the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, a healthcare reform provision that was created to give disabled and elderly patients cash to receive home healthcare rather than institutional healthcare, according to a Reuters report.

An HHS official said the administration suspended the program due to failure to construct a long-term financially sound infrastructure for the program. Although the Congressional Budget Office estimated the CLASS Act could help reduce the nation's deficit by $70 million in the first 10 years, the agency also concluded the program would not be self-sustaining after the first or second decade once benefit payments eventually exceed income from premiums, according to the report.

Federal officials claim the healthcare reform law without the CLASS Act would still reduce the federal deficit by $127 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, Republicans, who are keen on a full repeal of the healthcare reform law, were quick to criticize the controversial CLASS Act as a "budget gimmick," according to the report.

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