On January 18, 2012, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to markup a bill to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, H.R. 1173. In October, 2011, the Administration announced that it was halting implementation of the CLASS program due to problems it believes must be resolved before implementation can move forward. Some Members of Congress are using the Administration’s action to call for a full repeal of the CLASS Act rather than looking to make needed changes.
The CLASS program was created to 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 people with disabilities and 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 Arc will continue to support the CLASS program and has urged that Members of Congress reform, rather than repeal, the program. The Arc is concerned that repealing the CLASS Act would result in Congress ignoring the crisis in long term services and supports.