Sunday, October 9, 2011

The CLASS Act is not a class act

Back in October 2009 and again on March 15, 2011, I wrote about the CLASS Act. That’s the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act), the long-term care insurance plan that’s within Obamacare.

There has never been any doubt in my mind that whole concept of this plan is built on thin ice — another government sponsored Ponzi scheme. Simply put: There won’t be enough money coming in to support the number of Baby Boomers who could need long-term care.

And just recently, a Congressional committee detailed the insolvency of the CLASS Act in a report titled: CLASS’ UNTOLD STORY: Taxpayers, Employers, and States on the Hook for Flawed Entitlement Program.

It seems the committee found that the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was aware that the program was unsustainable and withheld this information from Congressional leaders and the American people prior to the passage of the law, all in an effort to achieve phony savings to offset the bill’s massive spending and taxpayer-funded price tag.

Several Committee members voiced their concerns; for example:

• Rep. Joe Pitts said, “The CLASS Act is an ocean liner that was put to sea with a giant hole in the hull.”

• Rep. Michael C. Burgess said, “Instead of focusing on reducing the costs of long term care insurance for Americans, the president’s health care law exploits tax payer confidence through creating another program that is poorly structured and will cost taxpayers even more money.”

• And from Sen. Lindsey Graham, “Remember Enron accounting? Well, I believe even Enron executives would be embarrassed by the accounting gimmicks created by the CLASS Act."

So now with further confirmation that another government plan for older Americans is doomed, what should you do now to make sure you can get the care you may need some day, without leaving you flat broke?

First, don’t stick your head in the sand. Become informed. Learn what government programs are available, before you or a loved one needs them.

Second, evaluate the options, including your ability to pay for your own care.

Third, develop a plan for dealing with the day when your health changes. Then share it with your family.

And if you’re not sure how to go about putting these steps into play, I suggest you pick up a copy of the latest update to A Boomer’s Guide to Long-Term Care.

Best wishes,