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Fight for the CLASS Act Continues - Call your Representative Today

01-Feb-2012 The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act (H.R. 1173) a bill that would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.

If you want to help protect the CLASS Act, please call 855-218-2109 to connect with Congress. Here is what you can tell your legislators:
  • I strongly support the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. Please oppose H. R.   1173, which would repeal the program.
  • The primary public program now covering long-term services and supports is Medicaid.
  • The CLASS Act was designed to be a fiscally responsible alternative that will encourage more personal responsibility and give American families a structure for planning for their own long-term care costs.
  • Every family needs this protection. No one has proposed a better alternative to CLASS Act for financing long-term services and supports.
  • Please allow continued dialogue on the CLASS Act and development of a viable program moving forward.
Background: CLASS addresses the need for long-term care in the United States in a completely voluntary way that honors the need for consumer choice, dignity and independence – without forcing people to impoverish themselves to qualify for Medicaid. If CLASS is repealed without an alternative being put into place, the need for a coordinated long-term care system will only grow, as will the financial strain on Medicaid. The need for the program is reflected in its popularity with the American people. According to a joint Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health poll, 76 percent of Americans support CLASS - including 69 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Democrats.

  • Current attempts to repeal the CLASS Act really have nothing to do with CLASS – they are part of a continuing attempt to bring down health reform. On November 2, 2011, after Senator Thune’s attempt to repeal CLASS without debate or discussion, Senator Sessions stated, “I think this is a death knell for the entire health care concept.”
  • Allowing CLASS to be repealed gives health reform opponents a long-sought political victory – without holding them accountable for solutions on long-term care. Opponents have not produced their own viable alternative to CLASS, and are willing to let the millions of Americans in need of long-term services and supports fend for themselves in a broken patchwork of programs.
  • Repealing CLASS is no solution at all. Simply allowing CLASS to be repealed does nothing to address the dire need for real long-term care solutions. CLASS is not perfect, but repealing it without replacing it will not solve our growing long-term care crisis. Seniors, people with disabilities, and their caregivers have waited long enough for Congress to focus on this problem.
  • Preserving CLASS provides a framework for Congress to move forward effectively. This may involve working with some of the fiscally responsible options put forth by the CLASS Act actuary, tweaking or amending the law, and/or developing additional alternatives; but repealing CLASS turns out the light on real efforts to solve the problem.

 
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