By Bob L.
It is amazing how much the Government covers up and most of the American people don’t care, just as long as it does not take it away from them, but the problem is it is taking it away from them in many ways, this is because every time the Government tell you that they are going broke, it is because they are taking the money and putting an IOU in and then telling you that it is going broke so they don’t have to replace it, just like they are doing to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and what ever they don’t want you to know.
This also for these programs, the money would be there if they were not stealing it and sending it to other countries and their favorite programs to keep the YUPPIES happy.
Here is just one comment:
I will have to give our politicians credit for one thing, they are the best bunch of thieves money can buy.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR – Associated Press
Sat. 10 08 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — They’re calling it the zombie in the budget.
It’s a long-term care plan the Obama administration has put on hold, fearing it could go bust if actually implemented. Yet while the program exists on paper, monthly premiums the government may never collect count as reducing federal deficits.
Real or not, that’s $80 billion over the next 10 years.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, CLASS for short, may just keep lurching along indefinitely. It would join other peculiar creatures of the federal budget such as “trust funds” that are actually more like IOUs and Medicare cuts that can be counted twice.
“It’s a gimmick that produces phantom savings,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates deficit control..
“That money should have never been counted as deficit reduction because it was supposed to be set aside to pay for benefits,” Bixby added. “The fact that they’re not actually doing anything with the program sort of compounds the gimmick.”
The program was created under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, and arguably provided much of the 10-year, $143 billion in savings claimed under the law. But now some Capitol Hill aides have dubbed CLASS a “budget zombie.”
The administration recently asked Congress to hold off on money for implementing CLASS as it tries to find a way to make it solvent for the long run. The chief financial expert for CLASS left the government, saying the program’s staff was abruptly reassigned.
CLASS was a priority of the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who envisioned a voluntary, long-term care insurance plan sponsored by the government, without the overhead costs of private insurers, or the rigorous pre-screening they require.
CLASS beneficiaries would pay an affordable monthly premium while they were healthy and working. In exchange, they could collect a modest daily cash benefit if they became disabled. Congress included CLASS in the health care law, specifying it must be self-sustaining.
Kennedy’s idea was to give families some financial breathing room. The burden of long-term care is growing. Most families cannot afford to hire a home health aide for a frail elder, let alone pay nursing home bills. Long-term care is usually provided by family members, often a spouse who may also have health problems.
But a central design flaw dogged CLASS from the beginning. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout. The main reason the program produced budget savings in its first 10 years was a rule that enrollees pay in for at least five years before collecting benefits.
The chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees money for Health and Human Services says the administration is playing a shell game.
“They’ve shelved it, but they’re keeping it around,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont. “The only logical reason I can see is that they need the money — even though there is no money there — to make Obamacare work.”
Absolutely not, says the administration.
“We are looking at the CLASS program from every angle,” Kathy Greenlee, assistant HHS secretary for aging, blogged recently. “We are doing our due diligence.” The administration will soon release a report with recommendations about how to proceed, she added.
Although Greenlee did not give any hints, one option is to go back to Congress for additional legal authority to revise the program.
Meanwhile, supporters of CLASS are getting concerned. Many groups that pushed for the health care law also backed CLASS. They wrote Obama recently, saying he doesn’t need any additional authority from Congress to go forward.
“The people who care about this program are just getting angry,” said Connie Garner, a former Kennedy aide who is directing a coalition of CLASS supporters.
Don’t expect CLASS to go away easily. If the congressional supercommittee tackling the debt decides to recommend repeal, the panel would have to come up with about $80 billion in other cuts — possibly real and painful — to offset the hypothetical savings from CLASS.
“They’ll probably ignore it,” said Bixby, the deficit hawk. “I think they’re not sure what they’re dealing with.”
EDITOR’S NOTE _ An occasional look at how Washington works behind the scenes.
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Patrick20 hours ago
And why does anyone trust the Federal Government? Who could possibly trust these people to oversee anything? If things like these aren’t criminal acts, what in the hell else can you call them?Politicans ARE THE PROBLEM!!!!!…..all of them play these #$%$ games with “figures”.The Federal Government… More
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Sam G21 hours ago
This equates to nothing more than a shell game. This is the same tactics that financial institutions and a few corporations (Enron, WorldCom) to name a couple that brought down the “Too Big To Fail” conglomerates. This just shows more reason why this Administration and Congress must be changed… More
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BrettR21 hours ago
What a bunch of bulls**t! The current political paradigm is incapable of producing real change. The Nation’s debt crisis is real, unemployment is real, people losing their homes is real, poverty is real… we do not need imaginary solutions to real problems. And to claim the “savings” as deficit… More
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Carl15 hours ago
As with most Goernment “savings”, this is just another smoke and mirrors saving. Our Government is corruipt, and is for sale to the highest bidder. The time has come for a COMPLETE change in Washington, all the way down to the lobbyest, who are nothing more than cash cows for Congress.
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Scott22 hours ago
More from our inept government. Here’s an idea, lets go back to the way it used to be. Memebers of congress hold real jobs. They meet twice a year to legislate. For this they earn a modest salary, say $25k a year. Government role, as stipulated in the constitution is to defend the country and… More
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Steve20 hours ago
Sounds like SS. We pay for something – the goverment sees a lot of money setting there and grabs it, then #$%$ it away. Then the’ll say its broke – I’m telling ya – just like SS
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Toothpick22 hours ago
CLASS is like most government run programs; nobody understands how to make them work they just look good on paper. In a real sense, most of them cost taxpayers a fortune, make a few politicians and corporate friend ultra rich, and offer the recipients chicken soup or a hamburger when a balanced… More