“The Obama Administration is pulling the plug on CLASS, the long-term insurance program within the Affordable Care Act.
“…making long-term care insurance a mandatory part of the Affordable Care Act would have made the health care reform bill even more complicated and, potentially, controversial. So the law’s sponsors decided to make the program voluntary — and called it the Community Living Assistance Service and Supports (CLASS) Act.
“…skeptical administration officials took solace in the fact that, thanks to a provision inserted by Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the Secretary of Health and Human Services had discretion to modify the program if, upon further consideration, it appeared unlikely to remain stable. It’s precisely that authority that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius exercised last week.
“…the estimates on long-term care always involved unusually high uncertainty, because the evidence on how such policies work is relatively thin and the insurance product itself was unusual. There’s just wasn’t that much experience on which to base actuarial models.
“We know conservatives don’t like universal health insurance if it means government coverage. We know conservatives don’t like universal health insurance if it means a private coverage with a mandate. And, based on their reaction to CLASS, we know conservatives don’t like universal health insurance if it means a private coverage without a mandate.
“But if they don’t like any of those options, what’s left? Could it be that conservatives just don’t like universal health insurance at all? That they simply don’t believe it’s possible or worthwhile to make sure everybody can pay their medical bills, the way every other developed country does?”