The Obama Administration pulled the plug on one of the key provisions of their health care takeover legislation.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, a new entitlement for long-term care that was long a dream of Ted Kennedy, was officially nixed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week.
"Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time," she wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders.
Thankfully, the legislation required that before implementation of CLASS, the Administration was required to certify that the program would be financially solvent for 75 years.
After 19 months of trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat, Sebelius had to admit what critics had been saying all along – it was unsustainable.
The shell game accounting that was employed in March 2010 by the White House and Democrats in Congress to pretend that ObamaCare would actually reduce the federal deficit was embarrassingly transparent.
So, an admission that even the "best analytical efforts" by the administration – (read: cooking the books) - couldn't feign fiscal sustainability, speaks to the house of cards upon which ObamaCare is built.
One of the accounting gimmicks used to originally sell ObamaCare directly related to CLASS. The tax to support the program began immediately, but benefit payments were delayed for years.
That convenient trickery was projected to generate a pool of $70 billion the Democrats offered as evidence of deficit reduction. Of course, once benefits of the program started to be paid out, the $70 billion rapidly vanished and the program was, and would forever remain, in the red.
That is the reality that Sebelius finally had to recognize.
As the Wall Street Journal reported: "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."
If only we could do the same thing to the rest of it as an "act of good government."
CLASS is the second provision of ObamaCare to bite the dust. Last April, with broad bi-partisan support Congress repealed the onerous business expense reporting requirement of the legislation. That these two parts of the legislation are gone is "Good News."
But, there remains a couple thousand pages still left to go.
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