RUSH: I want to talk a little bit more about the CLASS Act that has been yanked by the regime, because now Obama wants to put it back in. There are two stories from the same reporter at the same place about seven hours apart. Julian Pecquet at TheHill.com, he posted this story at 1:51 yesterday afternoon. “President Obama is against repealing the health law’s long-term-care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government’s announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.
“‘We do not support repeal,’ the official said Monday. ‘Repealing the CLASS Act isn’t necessary or productive. What we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country.’ Over the weekend, The Hill has learned, an administration official called advocates of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act to reassure them that Obama is still committed to making the program work. That official also told advocates that widespread media reports on the program’s demise were wrong, leaving advocates scratching their heads.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday in a blog post on the liberal Huffington Post website that the administration did not see a way to make the program sustainable. Sebelius indicated her agency hadn’t been able to figure out a way to ensure the program providing long-term care paid for itself as required by law.” That’s the key here.
“Later in a call with reporters on Friday, an HHS official said work on the program was being suspended. ‘We won’t be working further to implement the CLASS Act. Â… We don’t see a path forward to be able to do that,’ Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee told reporters on Friday. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, said Monday that repealing the program would not add to the deficit, making Republican repeal efforts that much easier.”
Wouldn’t add to the deficit? This is where something like 40% of the savings, so-called savings were supposed to come from. CBO, nonpartisan. These are the same people that told us this stupid act, the CLASS Act, would save a trillion dollars, or whatever their made-up figure is.
Now, that was at 1:51 p.m. yesterday. At 8:20 last night, so basically six and a half hours later, the same reporter, Julian Pecquet: “Congressional Republicans on Monday called for the immediate repeal of a major component of the 2010 healthcare reform law as the issue blew up in the administrationÂ’s face. The seemingly unworkable long-term care benefit contained in the health overhaul has been indefinitely shelved, quickly triggering a new offensive from GOP lawmakers that is expected to put congressional Democrats in a politically awkward position.
“The administration announced late Friday it did not see a way to make the long-term care CLASS Act, which was crafted by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), pay for itself. But perhaps even more damning is how the White House mishandled the controversy; consumer advocates accused the administration of being disingenuous and gutless.” Whoa! Now, when I read that, when I read that Julian Pecquet actually used the word “gutless” to describe the regime, i.e., Obama, I said, “Something happened here in the six and a half hours since he posted the first story.”
“Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), the House sponsor of legislation to repeal the program, told The Hill that he is ‘pushing’ Republican leaders ‘personally’ to bring up his bill shortly after the House returns from recess next week. The only Democrat who has co-sponsored BoustanyÂ’s legislation is Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), who voted against healthcare reform last year. The billÂ’s Senate sponsor, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), also took to the floor to urge quick action. ‘Hopefully we can kill this thing once and for all so it doesnÂ’t become a drain on our children and grandchildren,’ Thune said. The growing drumbeat for repeal comes after the White House announced that it is against repeal and remains committed to making the program work.”
Okay. So what is going on here? They announce at the regime, Health and Human Services, “It’s out of there. The funding mechanism doesn’t exist. We don’t have a way to implement this thing.” Obama says, (imitating) “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I oppose repeal. We’re gonna continue to fight for the CLASS Act.” Now, I think, folks, there is a straightforward explanation for why the regime announced the death of the CLASS Act aspect of Obamacare, and it actually is in one of the first things that I said about it yesterday. And it’s a shame this had not been done by the Republicans throughout every aspect of Obamacare. But unlike with the rest of Obamacare, the Republicans were able, with respect to the CLASS Act, to insert a provision that required Health and Human Services to certify its financial soundness before it could go into effect, i.e., before the government could start collecting so-called premiums, Health and Human Services had to establish, had to certify that it was financially sound.
Apparently if the program were to go into effect, some accounting of it would have been necessary for the 2012 budget. And what I’ve been able to find out, the regime has been feeling the heat on this for several months. Even Democrats like Kent Conrad, a story yesterday about this, asserted that it was unsustainable, although he naturally waited until after Obamacare passed to make this admission. But he said the CLASS Act is not sustainable, after they signed it into law, he issued a warning that the CLASS Act aspect of it is not sustainable.
So with fiscal 2012, which started October 1st, the regime was getting a lot of heat from Congress about the certification. The law requires that Health and Human Services certify the financial soundness of the CLASS Act. And that’s why about a month ago there was a minor stir when the Health and Human Services actuary for the CLASS program under pressure to come up with something plausible suddenly announced that he was being laid off and that the regime was gonna kill the program. This actually was a month ago and not much news was made about it. But they never have, Health and Human Services was never even close to being able to certify the financial soundness of the program. Judd Gregg inserted this requirement, when this whole thing was being done.
It’s a shame the whole health care act itself, Obamacare, had not been subjected to this kind of scrutiny. But the CLASS Act was, and so a month ago the actuary announced that he was being laid off and that the regime was gonna kill the program. And this is not the way that Obama wanted that news to get out. So they proceeded to deny that closure of the program was imminent. They insisted that it was still studying the problem, finding a way to come up with funding, and last Friday they figured it was just a good day to try to bury a story that was a mounting embarrassment to them. It was part of a document dump late in the afternoon on Friday, and they were really hoping that it would go unnoticed for a few days, at least, so that whenever news was made, it’s still a two- or three-day-old story and therefore a ho-hummer.
Now, it’s been speculated by some, and I reported this speculation, that the regime would not be unhappy if Obamacare were actually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because it is such an albatross around Obama’s neck as a problem for his reelection. And there are people speculating here that one of the reasons they asked for an early judgment and early ruling from the court was to get it out of the way one way or the other and that not necessarily they want to lose it but that they won’t be unhappy if they do. But all the evidence is contrary to that. The way they’re litigating it, the way they’re arguing it, the way they’re preparing to argue it before the Supreme Court, they want to win it.
I think it’s always a dangerous thing when we start — and I myself fall prey to this and am guilty of it on rare occasions, and that is trying to be too smart by half. And trying to be too smart by half stems from the belief that the Democrats are always a step or two ahead of us, that they are crafty devils, and that they out strategerize us all over the place, when in fact, as is the case in most every question or story that you tell yourself, the simplest explanation is most often the right one. And the simplest explanation here is that there’s no way to certify the CLASS Act can be paid for. There is no way to sneak it in. It would be too brazen a flouting of the law. So they just whisper that it’s gone by the wayside on a Friday afternoon. Then when the news hits, Obama makes one last stand, just a verbal, “I’m standing for this. I’m gonna see to it that it doesn’t get repealed, that we re-implement it,” and then it dies.
The important thing is he stands up for it, not that he actually succeeds in getting it re-implemented because it can’t be. But in Obama’s world, what you say and when you say it is as important as what you do. Now, as for this being a harbinger they might want to lose at the Supreme Court, this bunch doesn’t want to lose. They don’t want this health care law ruled unconstitutional, because this is ball game for them. They are preparing and litigating and arguing this thing at the Supreme Court. They want to win it. They want this thing cemented because it is the fundamental element to transforming this culture and this society in their vision. And I think they know that if it’s ruled unconstitutional, to go back to the drawing board, they had to skirt all kinds of legislative rules.
They were on the outer edges of the law to get this thing passed in the first place. And they know they can’t get it passed again if it’s declared unconstitutional. And to the extent that they might think, “Well, it will help our reelection if it’s declared unconstitutional and give us an opportunity to go out and say, ‘Look at what the Republicans took away from you, free health care,'” I really don’t think they’re thinking that way. That’s an example of being too smart by half. They’re not that smart. What they are is plain as day to see. They are leftist radicals who want this legislation implemented as soon as possible. Look, they’ve canceled the waivers. Normal waivers.
The waivers were granted to hide the absolutely horrible aspects of this from people before the election. The waivers from health care requirements offered to companies were simply to make sure people didn’t find out what this bill really is all about. The waivers would be lifted after the election in 2012 when then all hell would break loose. Well, they’ve decided to hell with it. You know, we’re not gonna grant any more waivers. Yep, no more waivers are gonna be granted. They’re all-in here. So I just think they got caught here. They got caught by the law that they couldn’t find a way to meet, so they secretly tried to get rid of this thing, and that didn’t work.