Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


February 1, 2012

Washington, DC- Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today voted to repeal a provision in the health care law, also known as Obamacare, which would establish a new government entitlement program for long-term care living assistance. There is bipartisan support to repeal the Community Living Assisted Services and Supports (CLASS) Act - a program that was unsustainable from day one. CLASS was designed as a new long-term care entitlement, permitting employers to automatically enroll individual employees unless employees opted out. Federally-set premiums, originally estimated at $123/month, were set to begin collection from enrollees in late 2012 in exchange for a $50-a-day benefit to cover the long-term care costs for seniors. Later premium estimates from enrollees ranged from $235 to $3,000/month. The bill passed by a vote of 267-159.

"The rush to pass a massive health care law was an exercise in fiscal futility," Olson said."Democrats in Congress sold the program as self-sustaining and one that would reduce federal spending.  They even used the phantom “savings” in the CLASS program as a budget gimmick to help “pay” for the President’s health care law.  The truth, however, is that CLASS is not financially viable and never will be.  The Obama administration itself admitted this fact last October when it concluded that it saw “no viable path forward” for this new big-government entitlement program. 

"Repealing this provision was the right thing to do and I hope the Senate will move quickly to pass it as well. We must address the high cost of long-term care, but this plan does nothing but force another costly taxpayer bailout that our nation cannot afford," Olson concluded.

Individuals would be required to pay premiums for five years before receiving any benefits.Prior to Obamacare’s enactment in March 2010, CBO estimated that $72 billion of premiums would be collected in the first ten years while no benefits would be paid out for the first five years.  In short, Obamacare supporters used the CLASS Act as a budgetary gimmick to disguise the true financial costs of the massive, government takeover of our health care system over its first ten years.

Outside Groups Supporting the bill: Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, American Healthcare Education Coalition, Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Doctor Patient Medical Association, Freedom Works, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Independent Women’s Voice, Medical Society of the District of Columbia, Partnership for America, The National Center for Public Policy Research, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and 60 Plus Association.


Media Contact: Melissa Kelly