Taxed into Long-Term Care

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At that time, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she was committed to fixing the program, maybe by forcing individuals to enroll with a separate mandate. In fact, Secretary Sebelius declined to rule out that possibility. When the law was being written, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) had the sense to insist on giving the Secretary of HHS the discretion to modify the program if it appeared to be unworkable.

So, it was last October when Sebelius finally notified Congress that the CLASS Act, being voluntary, was unsustainable and unable to be implemented. In a letter to Congress, she wrote, “Despite our best analytical efforts (which have characteristically been flawed), I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”

But now, HHS unexpectedly (because of the Supreme Court allowance to tax) has an exciting new opportunity to bring CLASS back from the grave as was Lazarus (John 11:44). Chief Justice Roberts said in his ruling on the health care law:

The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax…. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.

So, the government can force Americans to buy anything by simply characterizing the forced payment as a “tax.”  This would give the Obama administration and Secretary Sebelius the authority to transmigrate the CLASS Act and tax citizens into paying for expensive premiums to support CLASS. It would no longer be voluntary. If the President is reelected, such an enormously costly move is surely possible. It has the regulatory glow that exhilarates Secretary Sebelius and drives our spendthrift President. CLASS is dead, and Republicans want to get it off the books completely. But Obama won’t repeal it.

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  • Mike Villano

    The successful implementation of Obamacare will drive up the real cost of medicine and medical care and will get people killed.
    But that's ok because with all government programs the beneficiaries are the bureaucrats and administrators who implement and oversee the programs like public schools. The purpose isn't to educate children.
    It's actually a job works program for the benefit of the adults who run the program.
    The purpose of Obamacare is to benefit the medically illiterate administrators and bureaucrats who will have control over "medical allocation." These parasites will get people killed ROUTINELY but thanks to the liars whom some still call journalists and reporters we know these malignant parasites will never get blamed for the death and destruction they will inevitably wreak if Obamacare is successfully implemented.
    Stone false prophets!

  • michele120

    Apparently, many Americans did not pay attention during high school government class or listen to the Supreme Court's rationale. They ruled strictly according to the Constitution. They went out of their way to explain that Congress did not have the right to force Americans to buy a product, however, Congress did have the authority to tax Americans. Their ruling was not a validation of Obamacare. It was nothing more than reaffirming the old saying, "even a blind pig can find an acorn, occasionally." The only way the Individual Mandate was allowed was that the Constitution permits Congress to levy taxes. The Court said that the "Penalty" that Obama, the constitutional lawyer, said was not a tax was indeed a tax. Americans have a choice to buy either the "Essential Benefits" plan or pay a new tax, that Obama swore was not a tax. The decision changed Obama's status from "dictator" to "liar."

    What concerns me is that Obama was able to unilaterally suspend C.L.A.S.S. The language of the PPACA does not say, "The Secretary May…" it says, "The Secretary Shall…" In other words, it was not the desire of Congress for the president to only find a way to make C.L.A.S.S. work if he thought it was feasible. Congress told him to make it happen. He was the one who decided it could not happen, yet he is opposed to allowing Title VIII of his precious legislation be repealed. Rather than enforcing all the laws congress makes, he only enforces those he thinks are worth enforcing.

    • Jim_C

      Sort of like…every president, ever.

  • ajag23

    I still vaguely remember that in the late 80s Congress passed something like the CLASS act. It was vigorously opposed and was soon after repealed. We never hear about this precedent to both Obamacare and CLASS and why it could be so easily repealed . I think it would be a beneficial public service for somebody in the journalistic profession to investigate and summarize what happened 25 years ago, but seems impossible today?

  • Jim_C

    Newsflash: Costs were projected to skyrocket well before Obamacare.