House Energy and Commerce Committee votes on CLASS Program repeal

On November 30, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), approved H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Program, by a vote of 33 to 17. The CLASS program would help working adults prepare for their future in the event they need help maintaining independence in the community.  It was also intended to take the pressure off Medicaid, so that Medicaid can better serve the needs of low income communities.  Without a program like CLASS, the Medicaid program will continue to take on the load of long term service needs for many Americans, who will be forced into a lifetime of poverty to qualify for this assistance. The Administration has halted implementation of the CLASS program due to problems it encountered which it believes need resolution before implementation can move forward. The Arc will continue to support the CLASS program and has urged that Members of Congress reform, rather than repeal, the program.