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On Feb. 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act (H.R. 1173), a bill that would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
We are extremely disappointed that the repeal bill passed, but we appreciate the support of all of the House members who stood up for the CLASS Act. If you want to help protect the CLASS Act, please Contact Congress and urge your legislators to avoid repeal.
We need to keep the CLASS Act alive because we believe it can be made to work. It is the only alternative so far to Medicaid as the primary means of financing long-term services and supports.
If not CLASS, then what?
Urging the Senate to Avoid Repeal of the CLASS Act
Here is what you can tell your legislators:
“Repealing the CLASS Act will not do anything to solve our nation’s long-term care crisis,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said after the House repeal vote. “The fact is, solving big problems requires us to build on each other’s work, not tear it down. The American people deserve real, bipartisan solutions for long-term care because millions of American families today have nowhere to turn. We can and must find solutions that allow people to access long-term care services regardless of pre-existing disability, in their own homes or communities, and without impoverishing themselves.”
Interestingly, both supporters of the CLASS Act and supporters of repeal agreed that there needs to be a real discussion of how to finance long-term services and supports, but they differ on how to do so.
LeadingAge and the hundreds of advocacy groups that support CLASS continue to believe it will ultimately be a successful insurance product.
In a letter to the Members of the House of Representatives, LeadingAge CEO Larry Minnix urged legislators to reject the repeal bill, pointing out that there is no realistic alternative to the CLASS Act for financing long-term services and supports.
LeadingAge also joined 55 other groups representing elders and people with disabilities in advocating for the repeal bill's defeat in order to keep the CLASS Act in effect. The Leadership Council of Aging Organization's letter was sent Jan. 30, 2012.
We will continue making every effort to keep the CLASS Act moving forward.