House holds hearing on CLASS; Repeal bill introduced

On March 17, the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled “The Implementation and Sustainability of the New, Government-Administered Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Program.” Kathy Greenlee, the Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) testified along with other stakeholders. In nearly two hours of questioning by subcommittee members, Secretary Greenlee repeatedly explained that HHS was in the process of developing a specific premium and benefits package that would be sustainable without taxpayer funding, as required by Affordable Care Act. “We should not repeal CLASS until we have made every effort to reform the program,” she stated. There was a strong turnout by the disability and aging coalition organizations in support of CLASS, including The Arc and UCP. Later that afternoon, Representatives Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced a bill, H.R. 1173, to repeal the CLASS program. For more information on the CLASS program see http://www.advanceclass.org

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