House panel approves repeal of long-term-care program

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 12, 2011

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The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-17 on Nov. 30 to repeal a long-term-care program in the health system reform law that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in October could not be implemented.

The vote fell largely along party lines, with three Democrats supporting the repeal measure. The House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee on Nov. 15 also voted to strip the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program from the health reform law.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R, Mich.) said Republicans on the panel were not surprised to hear that the CLASS Act was determined by HHS to be unfeasible. "We have to start over on long-term-care reform -- an issue that will affect millions of Americans as they or a loved one need care," he said. "But first we must erase a program that we know will not work, a program that was never structured to work, and that we could never afford."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, W.Va.) said the CLASS Act may not be perfect, but Republicans should offer an alternative instead of repealing the program.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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