Obamacare Frays at the Edges

SignatureMD’s tailored plans for physicians to transform their practices from Medicare dependent to a more autonomous model is one step ahead of the Draconian new changes coming January 2012, but some changes have arrived for doctors and patients concerned about some specifics to the new healthcare laws.

The Obama administration drops part of healthcare law, it was announced last week.

The CLASS program which was to provide long-term-care insurance will not be implemented because it wouldn’t be financially sustainable, says the Department of Health and Human Services.

…preparations for a major expansion of health insurance coverage starting and reduction in Medicare payouts beginning in 2012…

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement that the long-term-care insurance program wouldnt have collected enough in premiums to remain solvent.

Unfortunately, this particular change will not affect other parts of the law, including preparations for a major expansion of health insurance coverage starting and reduction in Medicare payouts beginning in 2012, according to administration officials.

The decision to give up on what was a key benefit of the law is a blow to the legacy of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who championed a government entitlement program to help elderly Americans pay for home care or a nursing home.

In a letter to senior Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said such a benefit remained crucial.

But she said the program — Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) — would not have been able to collect enough premiums to remain solvent.

“For 19 months, experts inside and outside government have examined how [the Department of Health and Human Services] might implement a financially sustainable, voluntary and self-financed long-term-care insurance program under the law,” Sebelius wrote. “But despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation.”

“Without insurance coverage or the personal wealth to pay large sums in their later years,” she wrote, “more Americans with disabilities will rely on Medicaid services once their assets are depleted, putting further strain on state and federal budgets.”


I. The Washington Post