Health Law to Be Revised by Ending a Program

The Obama administration says a long-term care program, known as Class, would be too costly.

Comments: 125

  1. Just one of the more egregious examples of ObamaCare's faulty economics.
    The individual mandate will be ruled unConstitutional and ObamaCare will end up on history's midden.
    And Obama will be a one term President with overreach and failure as his legacy.

  2. A well-intentioned plan, but perhaps an unrealistic one. It's unfortunate that the legislation Kennedy viewed as his legacy will be scrapped, and eventually the U.S. will have to deal with the issue of health care costs (including the costs of long-term care), but Obama has his plate full with the rest of the Affordable Care Act. Now there will at least be one less weight around the administration's neck, and one less dimension of the plan for Republicans to fecklessly attack.

  3. I think that it would be cheaper to give people small amounts of money and let them stay at home than to force them to divest or spend all their assets and then pay for them to be in a nursing home.

    Even if this is an "Entitlement Program" so is Medicaid and this one would probably cost the taxpayers less. Unless we are willing to just take our old and sick out and leave them in the snow we are going to pay one way or another. This way might have cost less.

    Also, I resent the term "Entitlement Program" It is pejorative, offensive and really uncivilized. When the Times uses this term, they are making a political statement.

  4. "Premiums for the program, known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (or Class) Act, would be so high that very few people would sign up, officials said." The New York Times

    Perhaps the public will get the opportunity to review the Obama Administration's analysis of premium costs.

    The Obama Administration's decision on their long-term care program comes across like the Republicans' heartless notion of letting gravely-ill people die if they don't have healthcare insurance or other funds to pay for their medical care.

  5. This program was unsustainable from the start. It was not based on insurance underwriting principle but rather government economics. CLASS reduced the budget defecit by $70 Billion by collecting premiums for ten years and paying benefits for only the last five. Presto you save money! I find it laughable that 18 months after the passage of the healthcare Ms. Sebelius discovers that the program is not financially sound. A ten year old managing her allowance has more common sense than Ms. Sebelius when it comes to money.

  6. Someday the Democrats might realize that reigning in health care costs might make it more affordable, and therefor more accessible.

    Instead we are going in the opposite direction, feeding ever more resources into the medical-industrial complex, and spreading the ruinous costs across the populace via an insurance mandate.

    How long can this path be further sustained?

  7. $50 per day? Is that a joke? That doesn't begin to cover the cost of long term care in any meaningful way. I just went through this with my father-in-law. Had he survived a little longer he would have needed long term care. The cheapest we could find was $350 per day.

    Someday we will come to our senses and join the civilized nations of the world when we implement universal healthcare. Until then we will continue in this Darwinistic, every-man-for-himself nightmare while the libertarians and republicans cheer for the quick death of the uninsured sick and elderly.

  8. I don't doubt that premiums would be high, if the program were supported entirely by premiums, but why is it out of the question that the federal government would provide subsidies to those of lesser means for the cost of premiums and/or the cost of care?

    I have private long-term care insurance through a group plan offered by my employer, and even that is expensive. I can only imagine what the premiums are like for those who must buy coverage on the individual market, particularly if they are older or have any health problems.

    When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, I thought -- silly me -- that the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress wanted to make some provision for the care of the severely disabled who had been unable to afford private insurance. Instead, the Democrats have joined their Republican colleagues in yet another endorsement of government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.

  9. Apparently the cost of this was swept under the rug when the bill was originally passed and Obama promised that it would not add to the deficit. Still, this is only the tip of the iceberg - the whole thing is fiscal madness.

  10. Long term care costs have already produced a mandatory tax on all individuals. It is called Medicaid, funded by all of us through our Federal State and local income taxes.
    The long term care industry well knows the pitfalls of this type of insurance and does its level best to avoid insuring anyone with the slightest chance of a claim. But the industry would be better advised to work with the government to find a better solution to this problem. It is not going away just because the Class Act is.

  11. According to some posts in the Well Blog, this program did have a health screening of sorts, because only those who had been recently employed for a specified period of time would be eligible for coverage. As several readers of those posts noted, this would have meant that those who stopped working in order to provide in-home care for others would not have been eligible.

  12. An easy first step in getting control of our health care costs would be to negotiate Medicare drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Our costs are 2-3 times the price for the same drug sold in Canada or Europe. It’s time to put people before profits and join the rest of the civilized world. 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of access to a doctor. Medicare for all would bring our costs in line with other countries, save hundreds of billions of dollars annually, and get health care off the backs of businesses.

    When Washington is ready to pass real health care reform they should look to our neighbors to the north. Taxes are “nearly equal” on both sides of the border. Canadians receive many benefits for their tax dollars beyond health care, including cheaper higher education. In the Canadian system, there are no bills, no co-pays, no deductibles, no preexisting conditions, no dropped coverage, no lifetime caps or no bankruptcies. Canadians have better prevention, outcomes and care.

    Good public policy whether it’s health care, pharmaceutical legislation, energy, defense procurement or financial regulation is almost impossible to achieve because of campaign donations and lobbyist gifts. The function of government is to represent the vast majority of the people, not the rich and the powerful. Until we have public funding of elections, a ban on former members and their staffs serving as lobbyists, and a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate campaign finance, we will continue to get legislation that favors big money interests.

  13. Nationalise healthcare.
    Cut out all the middle men and profits.
    Make medical education state subsidised.
    Make savings lives not for profit.
    Imagine being able to walk into a hospital and not have to worry about the insurance or the cost.

    These are the things we really want.
    The Healthcare bill is a poor second, that costs way too much.

  14. Little by little, the entire health-care package will be so diluted that the thing will not be worth the paper that was used to create the same.

    This is just exactly what the Republican/Insurance Oligarchy wanted, so that there cut-throat lucrative business operations would continue as before.

    The Republicans, and the Oligarch in the Insurance Industry cited in this article, are now rubbing their hands together and planning a celebratory drink in their Country Club whereas the United States citizens who have a right to health-care go wanting or pay outrageous premiums for sub-standard health care.

    I have suspected this type of action for quite some time.

    This is the reason that there are now hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world and in the United States who are preparing to bring the entire corrupt Oligarchic Houses of Cards down.

    That cannot come soon enough.

  15. So, it seems, the long-term health insurance industry was not able to lobby the way the health insurance industry was able to; that is mandatory purchase of heath insurance. By President Obama "scrapping" CLASS, he just opened the door to over turning the mandate. That is, long-term health insurance should have been mandated the same way as health insurance. So, by requiring health insurance, but not long-term care insurance, it opens up the argument concerning selective mandates. Do not be surprised to see the US Supreme Court overturn the mandate based upon favortism of one type of insurance over another; equal access laws, interstate commerce, etc. The argument of people must buy auto insurance, for example, to justffy the health insurance mandate just got much weaker.

    This all could have been avoided with Medicare fro All, but President Obama wanted to protect the health insurance companies. Let them keep their monopolies, and their anti-trust provision.s Allow them to raise rates unchecked by allowing them nearly 5 years to comply with the law, etc. But now, that he has declared part of the law null and void; it could cause the law to unravel by court challenges.

    Too bad, because if the law unravels, there is no way this country will come close passing Medicare for All, or any form of health care reform, for many years to come. Talk about a major screw up starting with so called "health insurance reform" and potentially ending up with nothing. At least the Tea Party and the GOP will be happy. As fro the 50+ million uninsured, and the remainder of America, we will be at the mercy of health cost gouging for many years to come.

  16. What is the alternative for people who have no long term care and really need it? Is it that they're forced in to poverty trying to care for themselves, and then end up in under-funded, state-run facilities (if there still are such things anymore), or literally just left to die? That can cause a lot of problems too though. With desperate people living on the edge of ruin, forced to do anything to survive, there exists a real danger to societal health.

    It seems to me that this is why we should question the views of people like Mr. Slone, who are in the health insurance business and like the current for-profit health care model, and consider objectively that increasing government revenues to pay for not-for-profit heath insurance is not just a completely moral thing to do for the individuals who benefit from right now, but it protects us all moving forward. Fundamentally its a security issue, and why would that kind of security be any less valid than a police force or a fire department?

    We already pay mandatory taxes for federal, state and local security as well as for illegal and unnecessary wars in other lands. I would say that our health is security worth paying for, and that the for profit model is just too expensive to work.

  17. As long as for-profit insurance companies stand to make millions from all Americans, as long as we refuse to take the profit out of health care, we will continue to reduce and reduce the benefits until they slip away and become unrecognizable.

  18. Gee, announced late Friday afternoon. Guess what, the rest of the Rube Golberg Obamacare debacle is going to work either. Notice the supposed "savings" have already turned in to significant premium increases for most Americans. At what point will the Times write an editorial on the general incompetence of this administration who fiddled with universal healthcare while the economy burned? I don't think I will hold my breath waiting.

  19. By the time 2014 rolls around, Obamacare will be mostly a mandate to buy very expensive, for-profit health insurance. Most of the subsidies will be cut out because the money will be needed for sundry wars.
    While the public won't be happy, the insurance company executives will be singing a merry tune.

  20. How about that. I thought the office of the president was bound by law to execute the law as defined by Congress. I would think that only the Congress could turn off this program. At $50 a day that would be a full half of my after taxes take home pay. Get ready folks. Its obvious the medical system is breaking and will break further. American greed is killing it. Greed from the doctors, lawyers, insurers, and the government. You will be poorer for the rest of your lives than you are now, and its this kind of foolishness.

    You know the strange thing was I seem to remember the Democrats calling the Republicans out on the fact that our new system of socialized corporate medicine is now law and that the Republicans were bound by law to carry it out. Yet here their president is just making the decision to cancel a program called for in law. I guess if the president can assassinate an American citizen, and sign a treaty without the consent of the Senate, he can do this too. I wonder if Im the only who thinks they live in the Twilight Zone.

  21. Obama caves yet again. He took his marching orders from the insurance industry and ran with it.

    Such a happy ending for Mr. Slome and his gang. Why have a government program that takes even a penny of profit away from commercial insurance companies when it's so easy to bankrupt people with private premiums.

    I wonder what corporate executive position Mr. Obama will assume after his term of office.

  22. Predictably the emphasis of both party's comments is on financial impact rather than human impact. Will nobody living (since Ed Kennedy has died) come out and say that human life, dignity, and suffering doesn't have a dollar value. The language of our national conversation has changed to a point where it begins and ends with money with no consideration for quality of life or human suffering. Shameful.

  23. How exactly does the president have the power to overturn a law that was passed by congress and he has signed? Using this strategy, he could add in whatever his opposition wants to any bill, then after it passes simply decide to remove those parts.

  24. Why has there not been any public debate about this? With all due respect to the special knowledge of actuaries, why should it be decided by them? This is something a lot of boomers are very worried about, as well as some of our middle aged children.

    This exemplifies what has been bad about the Health Care Act from the beginning (and I don't mean the rhetoric from Thune, et al), which is that it is so complex and full of myriad programs few people beyond those who got their pet project included are even aware of. How can we support something we don't even know about? I did a fair amount of research as the bill was moving through Congress, but I missed this bit completely.

    Once again, this would all be moot with a Single Payer System.

  25. Profits should never trump the common good. The solution to the healthcare crisis in this country is quite simple - Medicare for all.

  26. How can Obama choose to disregard this part of the health care law? It is part of the health care law which was debated and examined by Democrats for over a year. We have been repeatedly assured the new law, which includes long term care insurance, will save money. Why would Obama not want to save money? What happened to all of the concerns about people being unable to afford or unable to qualify for insurance? Why is health care more important than long term care? Over half the people in long term care are on medicaid. Most are seniors on medicare. The health care law cut over 500 billion dollars in medicare payments but at least it offered hope to seniors and others that they could soon afford long term care coverage no matter how ill they were. With the insurance they could hope to get care in much nicer facilities than are provided by medicaid.

  27. What a colossal waste of time and energy. This was obvious from the start. What else is waiting for us? The silliness of this law will haunt us for a generation, when it will finally be scarapped.

  28. Thank goodness they passed it so they could see what was in it - stuff that can't possibly work. Well done Congress. What a bunch of incompetent boobs.

  29. All you need to know: "The private insurance industry, which lobbied hard but unsuccessfully to strip the Class Act from the health care bill, condemned it as actuarially unsound. “This is a flawed plan that’s not going to work,” Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, said last year."

  30. We need a stronger Social Security Program, increased contributions from all of us now to make it better for all of us later. Long term care needs to be part of the social safety net.

  31. now they need to get rid of the requirement that purchasing health insurance is mandatory.

  32. The fix for this problem is to run it like other government social insurance programs: everybody pays a payroll tax, everyone is automatically enrolled.

  33. This seems consistent with the observation that Obamacare is designed to fail forward into a single payer system.

  34. So will the offshoot be that we shove the burden of the long-term chronically ill back onto the states, or do we simply let them die in anomimity and neglect?

  35. Well, that's just about the icing on the cake for progressives. Depressing how little this man's puny efforts have met such great initial expectations. :(

  36. So the cost of long term care stays where it now lies: with Medicaid. This is another example of why we need comprehensive and single payer health care.

  37. health care insurance premiums will always out-strip health care costs in a corporate for profit system. That is how the game is played.

  38. This fatal flaw in the long-term care part of the health-care law is due in large part to the fact that "Obama Care" is based on private insurance with minimal government support from taxes. If the viable alternative would be "socialized medicine", then "socialized medicine" is what we need. But "socialized medicine" need not require care providers to be government employees. A better term is "Medicare for All". We are a great nation. We can do this.

  39. The long-term care program was canceled because it is too costly. Hello Obama Administration--our healthcare system is too expensive, bankrupting citizens who have the audacity to get sick. Our failure to provide citizens with affordable, accessible healthcare symbolizes our decline as a society. Eventually, we will either move to a medicare system for all, or cease to function as a society. In the meantime, millions suffer as the legislature and President placate the moneyed interests that support them. Words cannot express the outrage I feel.

  40. At least the Obama administration is actually concerned about the viability of the programs it pursues. Anyone have an example of a program championed by any Republican since Reagan who later agreed to drop it?

  41. We knew from day one that US cannot afford Obamacare. We knew it because we were in the middle of recession, the worst possible time to come with an extravagant expensive plan. We knew that Obamacare is wrong because Massachusetts care which had by far a smaller scope than Obamacare was failing. We knew that Obamacare is wrong because the Congress had no time to review it and it was shoved down the throat by the House of Pelosy and the Senate of Reid. We knew that Obamacare is wrong because it had 2700 pages of insrruction plus additions. This complex maze of conflicting orders included an agenda that had nothing to do with health care, special privileges to unions and illegal immigrants. We knew that Obamacare ignored experience of other countries and reinvented a system of healthcare that was already tested for 50 years in Sweden. This health care costs the Swedes 61% of every koroner plus a VAT of 25% which leaves the Swedes about 30 cent of every Kronor earned. The law passed in Sweden two years ago does not allow public money for any immigrants and allows private practice. We knew that Obamacare is wrong because it attempted to convert physicians to technicians...No, president Obama did not complete his job. He has now to cancel the rest of Obamacare. Nothing less is...too little too late.

  42. The is the fundamental flaw among Democrats. Giving in too easily, compromising, obfuscating, declaring retreat. This is how a bunch of science deniers, superstitious hate mongers get the better of Democrats pretty much every time. I am disgusted.

  43. How can the administration unilaterally decide not to implement a portion of the Health Care Act? Won't this take a new Act of Congress? And by the way, it's inevitable that an insurance program which guarantees acceptance to all applicants is doomed to's called "adverse selection." It's why underwriting is a essential component of any successful insurance program. Even government insurance programs.

  44. This is why it is ever more difficult to support liberal ideology. Most everyone understands the desire to live in a world which embraces the common good of all people. However, only the fool hardy plunge head long into policy that simply won't work.

  45. The CLASS act was supposed to produce an 80 Billion dollar surplus in the first 10 years (by not paying out any benefits for at least five years after collecting premiums) which enabled Obama to claim (albeit falsely) that Obamacare was revenue neutral. Now that the 80 Billion in "savings" has been negated, will we see Obama suspend the rest of Obamacare? I doubt it.

  46. At least we can all agree that the costs are ridiculously high, right? At least Obama and Co. were trying to do something to address that basic problem. The fact that it's not working out means that everyone has failed, not just Obama. The American people are smart enough to realize that the obstructionist Republican party has done less than nothing to address the worsening cost of health care. Now as ever the real need is an alternative to the for-profit health care system. Now if both parties would get out of the pockets of the health industries we could move forward.

  47. Perhaps the Supreme Court will overturn Obama's health care reform before the next election, and Obama will run for re-election on "Medicare for all" who want it, with fees on a sliding scale, according to age and income.

  48. “The Obama administration ignored repeated warnings about the financial solvency of this massive new entitlement and suppressed information on the viability of the program,” Mr. Thune said.

    Funny, Senator Thune. In fact, what this story indicates is that the Administration actually paid attention to the issues, followed up and then reasonably concluded after consulting experts it wouldn't work. In other words, rather than caving to political rhetoric and Republican fear-mongering, the Administration investigated the issue and changed course when it realized the program wouldn't work. I can't imagine anyone ever changing their mind in the immediately preceding Administration. Amazing how slimy and opportunistic our politicians's speechifying can be.

  49. great news. now dump the rest of this unworkable and very expensive program and concentrate on lowering the unemployment figures. if people are working, their employer can assist with healthcare and even the employee can make a contribution. it's rather difficult to attain goals when you are out of work.

  50. There is a reason why citizens from Canada come to the United States for surgery. It is that we already have the best health care system in the world. Socialized medicine does not work in Canada or England, and it will never work hear.

    How many times did we hear Obama tell us how wonderful was his healthcare program? Now everyone can know that he lied over and over. The new law hasn’t even been placed in effect yet already the ones who told us haw wonderful, how necessary, and marvelous this law is. Remember Pelosi after we pass the bill the American public can find out wants in it.

    The Republicans have been telling us all along that the bill cost to much. Obama talked about how important it was and how badly we need it. He lied every time. Why didn’t the white house and the congress take time to make sure the plan would work before they passed it into law? Because, Obama did not provide leadership he never even cared if it would work.. He just went around saying it must pass right now. The liar.

    For Obama’s administration to find a portion of the new law untamable clearly demonstrates the high probability that other parts of the bill are also flawed.

    Obama O’ how wonderful, O’ how marvelous, O’ how incompetent is he.

  51. I am sanguine about the future of health care. This, like all the other challenges to "Obamacare" just show how untenable any private insurance plan is. Of course it is very expensive for people who need long term care. Of course no young healthy person would not CHOOSE to join such a plan to share costs with persons with expensive health needs. I am optimistic because soon our political arguments will crumble in the face of REALITY, which has been accepted by virtually all other developed nations. The only morally acceptable and financially tenable health care system is a universally distributed one in which all people pay in and all are covered. Healthy people and sick people all need to pay and be covered under the same system. This is practical because it includes low risk and high risk people in the same pool. It is moral because all people's lives are of equal worth and thus should have equal access to means to preserve their lives.
    I am optimistic because this is the inevitable outcome of the current and untenable disaster of our current health care system. That system does not work and will very soon collapse. Insurance increase have been astronomical for some years now and many people simply can not pay them. As this number increases the system will collapse and a single payer, universal plan will be the inevitable result.

  52. The entire law is unworkable throw it out. this just shows how bad it was to pass this disgraceful piece of ill-conceived legislation by fiat. The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. They did this against the will of the majority and they will suffer for years electorally as they should. Democrats should never be trusted to lead again until they reject the far left.

  53. This is another disappointment. Frankly, I think the Baby Boomer generation (of whom I am a member) should be FORCED to buy this insurance so that they do not become a burden on subsequent generations.

    This is like health care. Most everyone will need long term care at some point. But few people can afford it and depend on the government. We now have people hiding their assets so that they can qualify for government financial assistance for nursing home care.

    We should have a mandatory program for all -- like Social Security, Medicare, and soon the "Obamacare" health insurance program -- where everyone pays in their fair share. Because one way or another -- we all end up paying anyway. Just some more than others. And that's not fair.

  54. Yes, they are; I pay $516/quarter, and my husband pays $900. I'm 60 and he's 74.

    This is with a break through an affiliation organizaiton!

  55. The entire thing won't work. The opposition has no skin in the game and so they feel free to negate everything. Would have been better to settle for half the loaf.

  56. Scrapping this amounts to ignoring that there will be a problem regarding what to do with millions of elderly who need care. Sounds very much like Scrooge: "...they had better die and decrease the surplus population".

    Ignoring an issue doesn't make it go away - whether it be your mortgage payments, the starving in another country, or the lack of adequate health care.

  57. Private insurance companies should not be involved in health care of any kind. Period. Wake up people, we're being had!

  58. "...workers were reassigned from the office that was developing the program"? What were they "reassigned" to? Who was doing that work before? Aren't those people still there doing that work? Wouldn't laying off those workers whose work is no longer needed make more sense, thereby reducing the bloated, inefficient federal government workforce that is a primary driver our deficits? These politicians and bureaucrats just don't get it...or just don't care because too many of us really don't care either.

  59. Yet another reason we needed a public option or better yet single payer health care for Americans.

  60. God forbid we provide for the elderly who have catastrophic illnesses that may bankrupt them. Better to provide long term care for the banks and bankers.

  61. So they could not "figure a way for it to work at this time". Well. With a bit more thought, I'll bet they can find other parts of Obamacare to which this statement applies.

  62. "We will not be working further to implement the Class Act"

    No class act? Indeed.

  63. My Canadian and European friends keep asking me "what is it about affordable healthcare that you Americans are so afraid of?" It is time for Medicare for all. I really hope this is an election issue in 2012.

  64. [email protected]:5 said:

    "Also, I resent the term 'Entitlement Program' It is pejorative, offensive and really uncivilized. When the Times uses this term, they are making a political statement."


    Actually, the term has a legal meaning. An "entitlement program" means a program that guarantees certain benefits to individuals (or entities) who meet the eligibility requirements for the program. Once the recipient has qualified, the full range of benefits must be provided.

  65. “The Obama administration ignored repeated warnings about the financial solvency of this massive new entitlement and suppressed information on the viability of the program,” Mr. Thune said.


    John Thune has the audacity to claim this as a victory for the American taxpayer. Count me out of his flock. As Senator from the State which I consider to the racist 'Alabama of the North', he has alot of gall
    to pretend to having anyone's best interests at heart other than his donor consituents of the caucasian variety.

    South Dakota boasts the two poorest counties in the United States, both on Pine Ridge Reservation Land-
    Land which was 'raped' and taken due to the 'entitlement' complex of white ranchers who swindled an already violated and crushed Indian population out of their rightful land. This land guaranteed to Native peoples by US TREATY. However, ALL 468 treaties which Native survivors (of what many consider to be government sanctioned genocide) signed to insure survival for their people, were broken with impunity and their rich land was taken, leaving only arrid land-blistering in summer and frozen in winter....good for nothing. Not good for anything until it was discovered that there was uranium under that land. Thune and his cronys are hard at work now attempting to get that mineral rich land as well.

    As to his stance on Health Care?
    The average life expectancy for an Indian male in South Dakota is 45-50 yrs. That's close to sub Saharan Africa.

    John Thune has alot of gall to weigh in on anyone's health care with his racist agenda, pandering to rich, white citizenry for whom he lobbies, and who soak up the taxes of ordinary Americans only to perpetrate more land grabs,and luxuries for themselves. What do those sorts care about disabled persons who may need long term care? Answer: They don't. John Thune is their operative in Washington.

    I would like to see John Thune attempt to defend himself against these charges.

  66. If one applies the same criterion to dozens of other mandates in the law (see things like centralized health records for several hundred million complex patients), one would conclude that many of the other parts of the law are too costly. This is not owed to the health care intent of the mandates, it is because Congress mandated the same kind of central administration that put General Motors out of business. The health care mission in the Act is quite good. But because Congress chose to mandate HOW things were to be implemented, right down to details of language interpreters in neighborhood clinics, the whole package is completely unaffordable. One of the reasons health care costs so much right now is that it is administered through a complex web of state administrative structures. This protects the bad insurance companies from innovative new entrants. The law does nothing to increase innovation and adds so much administrative complexity that we are likely to see many more "too costly" things identified as people actually read what was voted into law.

  67. I don't understand how the administration can simply decide on its own not to implement a provisiong of a law that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. I for one was looking forward to signing up for CLASS. I've looked into private long-term care insurance, and it seems like more of a gamble than insurance. My husband bought a LTC policy years before he met me. The premiums are expensive, and it has so many exclusions that he's unlikely ever to be able to use it.

  68. What commenter #1 (RLS in Virginia) failed to mention is that we, i.e. the US taxpayer, laso pay much more than anybody else on the planet for the development of new drugs and medical procedures, yet our average citizen is much less likely benefit from this massive investment than a typical Canadian or a European, whose health systems focus primarily on the fairness of the distribution.
    We continue to pay for the development & research through political favors to the pharmaceutical industry and the ever more lavish NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding, yet we show remarkably little interest in making sure that the product of this investment will reach every level of our society.

  69. A simple solution to long-term care is to let Medicare pay for at home care. People live better and healthier lives connected to family and community and we all save money. Implementing "Aging-in-place" programs would also help lower costs and raise quality of life.

  70. I get the feeling that 'CLASS' is not the only thing but just the latest. Other parts, I fear, may also be chipped away over time, leaving a mere skeleton (if at all) of what the 2010 Healthcare Act was supposed to achieve.

    Another thing: the Republicans seem more united and organized in opposition than Democrats have been in supporting Obama programs. (Jobs Bill, a recent embarrassment).

    Insurance lobbies are strong, and remain strong!! I doubt whether we'll see meaningful changes. I am increasingly disappointed.

  71. Doesn't Congress have to vote on "scrapping" the long-term care portion of the legislation? This would not seem to be within the purview of the executive branch.

    Guess someone should have read and understood the bill before it was passed.

  72. Lots of people keep saying "Single Payer" is the way to go. Let me guess. If we went with "Single Payer" the fees would be "Progressive". In other words, the same people who currently pay no taxes and get everything for free, would also get this for free. Those of us who are getting hammered with taxes and fees, would just get hammered harder and faster. After all, we must pay 'Our Fair Share" right??

  73. The program "could be made to work." No, it couldn't. Just like Medicaid and social security and universal home ownership; you can fake it for a while but ultimately those pesky financial rules triumph. What you sugarplum fairies don't understand/accept is that the only thing guaranteed in this world is greed and the profit motive. Our system of sound laws and small government allowed us to harness these forces and get some good out of peoples lizard brains for 150 years. Then along came the smart guys. Utopias don't work and are destined to fail. Government will never be able to afford to take care of you, in a sustainable manner. Ask our European cousins. There just aint enough damn money and printing more doesnt fix the problem. What will you fools do when the rest of the world gets tired of this fiscal irresponsibility and replaces the dollar as a basket currency?

  74. Again I am disappointed in the current elected federal officeholders in the Administration and Congress for refusing to make community life a priority for Americans living with disabilities. Shame on you. And remember, if you today are not living with disability, it is only a matter of luck and/or time before you too may want to live as independently you choose in the community.

  75. Obama is a disastrous political strategist, regularly conceding ground that could otherwise have been used in negotiations.

  76. That's right, Republicans.

    Keep us all subsidizing corporations so that they don't have to dig into their profits for anything, including paying liveable wages, and no one will be able to afford to support market competition, leaving prices high for your favored few.

    That way, the 99% is reduced to begging for help from churches, and you get your chance to exploit their desperation by proselytizing to them as they stand in line begging for food and shelter.

    You should rename yourselves the Jim Jones Party.

  77. Between ObamaCare and Dodd Frank, it should be apparent to all that the President never bothered to read the legislation he signed. I give him the credit that had he read it he would have been smart enough to veto it. He may be lazy, but I don't think he is stupid.

  78. It's time END the for-profit insurance corporations, and replace them with universal national health insurance.

    They've fought universal longterm care insurance, no matter how minimal, because their ONLY concern is their profits. How about the ill, the elderly, and people who've suffered grievous injuries? Nope, they don't count.

    Repubicans side with the for-profits, because they lack the insight to recognize that they, too, might one day be old, or ill, or injured--or that this could happen to a family member of theirs. For a Republican, if something is not happening to THEM, right this minute, it's never going to happen to anyone that matters.

  79. If the health care industry lobbied against it, then that is why Obama is removing it now. Don't fool yourself--it was probably too generous for the Capitalists to allow it.

  80. Failure and Obama seemed to be two sides of the same coin.

  81. Premiums through private insurance are also very high, unless you sign up at a relatively young age. Still, Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and one has to be indigent, meaning having to spend down everything you've built up your entire life until you have nothing, for Medicaid to pay for long-term care. And then you are a Medicaid patient with little clout. States are enacting "look back" laws so you can't give your money/assets to your kids to avoid truly being indigent. So unless someone comes up with a plan soon, there are going to be a lot of old people without long term care or at the mercy of nursing homes greedy for Medicaid dollars. It's a lousy system, and it is the norm here in America.

  82. No shame in admitting what will not work prior to implementation.

  83. Ram-rod government legislation never works out. Private enterprise always does.

  84. Democrats should have read the bill before they passed it. Oh well, they had to pass it to see what's in it. Do Democrats really want to be re-elected?

  85. A shame to see this eliminated from the President's Health Care Plan. This could have helped many people. Makes me wonder, though, how many other aspects of the President's Plan are financially unworkable. Why is this only being pulled now? Reversals like this make the Health Care "Plan" look lie a "Ready-Fire-Aim" exercise.

  86. I guess "Yes we can" has become "I guess we couldn't."

  87. Like, Duh.
    Old people are health insurance risks.
    Couldn't the actuaries that designed the plan figured this our a long time ago.
    This wouldn't have been a problem if we adopted a single payer plan.
    Obama caved in to Republicans and the elderly lost.

  88. In all fairness to all parties, CLASS was never likely to be enacted; even the Affordable Care Act has language in it providing for just this eventuality. President Obama didn't cave; he realized, finally, CLASS was doomed. There was a lot of effort spent to find a way to make it work, but the numbers were never there, and ACA did provide a way out. Yes, it was Ted Kennedy's pet project (hence its inclusion in ACA), but saner heads prevailed even as the law was being passed.

    The reality is most people who criticize ACA haven't read it in its entirety (yes, I have read all 945 pages, thank you), and this includes every republican in Congress who likes to shoot off his or her mouth about ACA being the end of America, death panels (no such animal in ACA), the "unprecedented" insurance mandate (actually, there is a precedent dating all the way back to President John Adams, a signer of the Constitution; so much for a mandate being unconstitional). If you only rely on Faux News for information, you are being misled.

    So CLASS is gone. I'm not surprised; it really was never meant to be implemented in the first place (again, read ACA carefully). I'm sorry it was not meant to be, but I'm not shocked in the least. Too bad, too. We could use a good means of obtaining reasonable long-term care insurance. I'm already disabled, so I personally would have welcomed this. Ah, well.

  89. this country has sickened me unto death

  90. Just another example of killing even the barest hint of universal health care with a thousand tax cuts!

  91. As a liberal, I still don't see how mandatory third-party health insurance is viable. Wait and see.

  92. Gee, does this mean the Justice Dept. could stop enforcing the law if Obama or Holder said it should?

    What if those wascally republicans insisted that the health care law be carried out as written?

  93. "The Obama administration says a long-term care program, known as Class, would be too costly."

    You don't say.

    Just wait until they get to the rest of Obamacare.

    "We have to pass it, so we can find out what is in it." -- N Pelosi

  94. Obama needs to be shown the exit, he hasn't been up to the task. Plain and simple.

    Let's move on.

  95. This is besides the point. The healthcare bill's main problem is it does not regulate insurance companies near enough. On balance the bill will make our system better, but only marginally so. The insurance companies will still fundamentally control the system, and that's the problem.

  96. Looking to Canada for a sick care plan sounds great except the Canadian government is not as stupid are ours. Our taxes may be the same but we waste ours on wars. Other countries do not do this foolish, stupid and laughable 'defense" nonsense. It is not for defense it is for enriching the rich who make billions from our military spending so the people get very little for their taxes. Other countries have decent governments do a much better job of caring for the welfare of its citizens. Not the USA. We have thrown everything good about the idea of American away. Just support Occupy Wall Street around the country. They are the best thing to happen in this country for 35 years.

  97. "'At $75,000 a year for a nursing home and $18,000 a year for home health care, most families cannot afford to pay out of pocket,' she said."

    The prices for nursing home custodial care for the non-wealthy are so high that most nursing homes' income is from Medicaid, i.e., from the taxpayers, whether the patient is there because of a disability or is elderly and has been sent there to die. I'm not sure if Obama's plan would have any deleterious effect on nursing home profits, but it's a fact that the nursing home industry is one of the richest and most politically powerful special-interest groups, and they spend millions on lobbying to protect the status quo. They're especially against any government funding of long-term home healthcare since that would threaten nursing home profits.

  98. We need a single payee system with many provision for service.

  99. Universal healthcare, nationalized healthcare, Obamacare are all great ways to give many people many benefits of health insurance. That's just the problem, medicare-like healthcare removes all incentives to advance medical science.

    Innovations don't drop out of the sky, enormous investments are needed and who will make them if 'the government' fixes fees and refuses to pay for new medicines and treatments?

    Those who think President Obamas nationalized healthcare will cover everyone for everything and save money learned a hard lesson today. Eeveryone who supported Obama's law expecting long term care insurance learned that if the government decides not to cover something, that's it. Once the Secretary reads the spreadsheets, she'll tell us she can't afford the current level of spending to treat rare diseases, develop new drugs and advance transplant medicine she will recommend trimming that too.

    Government healthcare does not look at the patient first, it looks at the budget first. Around the world this means rationing and explains why leaders of foreign countries with these 'superior' systems come to New York for treatment.

  100. Q.) What is disgusting about this? A.) A for-profit healthcare system that delivers 100s of millions in profitable return to a small # of shareholders at the expense the many. Ask yourselves why we even have to have a for profit healthcare system? It's not because of research or 'future technologies'. It's not Christian, in the least, to let 40 million Americans go without care and many many more struggling to pay premiums - one catastrophe away from bankruptcy. I am angry and deeply saddened that in this, the wealthiest nation on earth, we continue to think this is okay. We, as a country, equate capitalism with democracy and they are not equal. Some things in the commons should be a right and not a privilege>healthcare being one of them. I laugh when people say 'best healthcare in the world' That folks is simply a lie. Healthcare is expensive because of malpractice suit is another lie. The ONLY reason we do not have national healthcare is because of lobbyist and cronies who work on behalf of those whom own healthcare HMOs, PPOs etceteras. Roughly 40-70% of every healthcare dollar goes to administrative costs (administrative salaries etceteras). This country has collapsed upon its own weight and become an embarrassing place to live. As long as corporations and people continue to confuse free-market capitalism with democracy as they are manipulated by leaders and the media, then we shall end up having neither a market nor a democracy. I don't care if you are right or left or makes zero economic sense to have for profit healthcare. And, as so very many emphasize petty differences the wealthy become more powerful, richer, and more entrenched on maintaining their riches. Anyone who advocates the healthcare system we currently have is not living a Christian ideal. How quickly we have fallen and this struggle to help others is but one of many examples. Let our similarities outweigh our differences and lets be humane and compassionate once Americans

  101. Being able to care for our senior citizens in their greatest need is clearly a luxury America can not afford. Why not? Since this is the most expensive of all types of care, the answer probably goes to the heart of the health care problem in America.

    First of all, we can not afford to cover the paper work and profit of insurance companies, HMOs or PPP's, or the present cost of medical and nursing education.

    Second, without a continuous, universal premium paid over a person's entire lifetime, the expenses of old age will always be beyond the means of most people. They need to be spread over the entire population and over all age groups to be affordable.

    Third, local community resources need to be developed to better accommodate the senior population. I am now sitting in the center of a small European town watching several senior citizens battling over chess boards rather than insurance premiums.

    Let's face it: the present US capitalist system is not able to meet these challenges. We need to get together and do it for ourselves. It is called good government.

  102. The bitter truth is that without a public option for citizens, this entire law will be "too expensive" to enact. The President may take the heat for its failure, but it is the Senate that dropped the ball. Perhaps in another 50 years Americans will wake up to the truth that quality health care should be readily and affordably avaiable to all of us, all the time.

    Our "free market" in health care insurance is not working as a free market. Instead it is an industry designed to extract the most money for the least service. Until we have a majority of legislators and voters who believe that all of us deserve "cadillac" health care insurance plans(ie. plans that provide the best medical treatment, not the cheapest) we are screwed.

    Perhaps it is time for voters to demand that all elected officals give up their government provided insurance plans and enter that "free market" they so love to promote!

  103. Good long term care insurance is costly as is health insurance for seniors and people with disabilities or the infamous pre-existing conditions for a very simple reason: People who find themselves in one of these sets of circumstances tend to require very expensive care. Insurance rates have to be set to cover these costs so long as we rely on private insurance. As a volunteer who helps seniors deal with insurance, especially Medicare Part D, I knew from the beginning that CLASS was never going to work in any really meaningful way.

    The purpose of insurance companies is to make money for their stockholders. They do so by offering a service at a cost that enables them to make a profit. The federal government cannot force a company to continue operating at a loss.

    The next likely program to hit the skids is the one that helps people with pre-existing conditions find 'affordable' insurance. A friend of mine has written a couple of op-ed pieces on this program in which she laments the fact that very few are availing themselves of this opportunity. Unless the government heavily subsidizes this insurance, many lower income people who are not actually at the poverty level will not be able to afford it. Still 'affordability' is often in the eye of the beholder.

    On the first day of 2012 Open Enrollment, I am reminded of one of my clients who had thought he could save money on a Medicare Advantage plan and so dropped his MediGap policy. After a year he was convinced that he wouldn't save in the long run and got his MediGap policy back. As I worked on his drug plan, he told me that he often talked with his friends about the importance having a good MediGap.

    'What do they say?' I asked.

    'That they'd rather spend the money on their boats,' he replied.

    We all end up paying for their uncovered care but only they get to ride in their boats.

    When we reward irresponsibility, we get more of it.

  104. Reply to 16.T. W. Smith
    Livingston, Texas
    October 14th, 2011
    9:25 pm

    Mr. Smith like other critics bases his rant on ideology rather than facts.

    " In a column posted on the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site today, Altman explained that ObamaCare was responsible for a "modest" increase in insurance premiums.
    Drew Altman, president and CEO of Kaiser, first said that the premium increase was not because of ObamaCare but then went on to say that the ObamaCare law probably accounted for 1 to 2 percentage points of that increase, which he further explained in a column today.

    In a world where some blame almost everything on what they call ObamaCare -- I certainly blame the collapse of my Red Sox on Obamacare -- one thing we can say about the premium increase this year is that it is not because of the Affordable Care Act," Altman told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.

    However, he continued, “Our analysis is that the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] could have been responsible for about one-and-a-half percentage points – we say 1 to 2 percentage points – of the increase that we’re documenting this year,” he said.

    “And that reflects the costs of providing prevention benefits without cost-sharing,” he said. “It reflects the costs of covering young adults up to 26 years of age under their parents’ policies. Those are also very popular benefits, according to our tracking polls.”

    Altman pointed out that the Affordable Care Act was not responsible for the entire premium increase, explaining that most health plans would be grandfathered in and would not be subject to the full force of the law’s new regulations.

    According to the study, health insurance premiums for employer-provided coverage – the most common type – have been rising at a steady rate of about 5 percent each year.

  105. Actually a lot of people have a misconception of what really went on here. In the beginning, when the Obamacare was set up, there was a concern that the long term care piece would not be cost neutral, so they put it in with a plan to evaluate it. They have, and have concluded it cannot be done at the cost they wanted so they took it out. I don't see the big deal here.

    As for long term care insurance, this is going to be the next big issue, millions with very severe illnesses or disabilities with no place to go, so they will live at home, your home for instance.

    I have taken out long term care insurance. Actually I have two plans. It cost me $200 a month, but at $4000 to $7000 a month or more in long term care facilities, it will be a good investment, that is assuming I need it, but that is true with any insurance.

    Oh well, what ever. I am covered, if others want to have no public option and don't sign up for a private plan, have a good time. I simply don't care.

  106. Bottom line: This is just one of many steps that will be taken on the way to a government run single payer system. Obamacare was never designed to be implemented, only to expose the so-called greed of the insurance companies that must increase premiums beyond the reach of average Americans in order to comply with the law's mandates. As a result, the public will demand a so-called affordable government option. Get ready for rationing, government interference in health decisions, and the Nanny State, where costs are shifted from the responsible saver to the irresponsible spendthrift. A very clever back door approach that the general public are clueless to.

  107. Addressing the problem of long-term care is essential, although those writing here who are in their 20s, and whose parents are in their 40s and not yet confronting the issue directly may be clueless about that so far.

    People will need long term care. It will have to be paid for. We can help a person in their home, or wait until they have a serious injury or illness and pay far more money to take care of them in a hospital.

    Good long-term care insurance and use of those benefits actually will save money in the long-term. It is essential to address this problem because ignoring it won't make it go away.

    As for those writing here who ask how Obama can just cancel part of a law passed by Congress, you haven't paid attention. As explained, the law specifies that in order for the CLASS program to be established it must first be certified as financially sustainable by the Secretary of HHS (who as it turns out was a former state insurance commisioner before she was Governor of Kansas). What just has happened is that HHS has said that as currently defined they cannot make the law sustainable. The problem is, they judge, that young healthy people will be clueless that they need this insurance and so won't sign up, thus raising the premiums and driving others out of the program. The other problem, as pointed out by others writing here, is that $50 is not much help, which also will discourage people from signing up.

  108. All of the well-publicized political health care programs have one thing in common: They all seek to steer larger portions of Medicare and Medicaid through private insurance corporations. They differ only in their degrees of rationing, with President Obama's plan restricting rationing for profit and Rep. Paul Ryan's mandate allowing the most rationing by the health insurance industry.
    What Republicans and Democrats fail to disclose is that for more than 40 years the middle man of American health care - the private insurance industry - has failed in almost every capitalistic, economic and medical measure to deliver for the American patient.
    Unlike auto insurance, private medical insurance has failed to accept and spread risk, thereby preventing the delivery of quality, affordable health care .
    All the private health insurers have failed to prevent personal bankruptcies due to medical illness. The administrative bureaucracy of private health insurers removes $500 billion a year from health care. Managed health care brokered by private insurance companies has failed to improve medical outcomes and lower morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death rates) for all Americans regardless of income, sex or location.
    The private health insurance industry has needed massive taxpayer subsidies. It would not be profitable without a federal exemption from antitrust laws combined with a federal ban on collective bargaining by physicians. The private insurance companies would not be able to ration health care for profit without a federal law protecting the companies from malpractice lawsuits.
    For over four decades private health insurance companies have decreased reimbursements to individual doctors, hospitals and therapists for care, while failing to lower the cost of care for insured citizens and business.
    For 40 years, the private insurance industry has refused to invest in the development of integrated medical records and billing systems to prevent fraud and track outcomes and improve quality of care. Within the health insurance industry there is a failure to compete based on medical, surgical or preventative outcomes (the only product of health care). In addition, the health insurance industry has failed to operate profitably without massive diagnostic, treatment and reimbursement rationing of patient care by non-physician actuaries and insurance bureaucrats.
    Private health insurance companies have failed to deliver to Americans low-cost medicines and drugs via competitive capitalistic bidding, even with massive federal Part D subsidies. With no real interest in our future health, the private health insurance industry has failed to contribute to meaningful medical or clinical research.
    Health insurance companies can only claim success in diverting hundreds of billions of dollars of public and private money from health care providers and patients to profits and payoffs for their bondholders, shareholders, executives and political patrons.
    If any other American industry failed to competitively and profitably provide a quality product for all Americans for 40 years, it would either be outsourced to an emerging nation, or shut down.
    Health insurance companies ensure neither quality affordable health care nor quality insurance for most Americans. With no real product to sell, the private health insurance industry would fail to exist without hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect payments to the elected officials in the Congress, state legislatures and the administration.
    After 40 years of market and medical failure, America needs to cut out the middle man and move to single-payer national health insurance for all Americans with private doctors, hospitals, clinics, therapists and drug companies competing based on the quality of medical, surgical and preventive outcomes.

  109. This should surprise no one. No one at all.

    And it is not an issue of liberal vs. conservative, party affiliation, or what one believes our government should (or should not) do regarding healthcare and health insurance -- including long term care.

    The Obama Administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress chose ideology and speed over prudence... pushing a 2000+ page bill filled with too much vague language, too many "placeholders" (literally blank spaces for text to be added later), and too many things "to be determined" by the Secretary of Health and Human Services at a later date. And let's not forget how members of Congress were called to vote on the "final" version of the legislation only hours after it was decided, and long before any them (or their staffs) had time to read, let alone carefully consider, what was in it.

    As a result, HHS has had to issue more than 1,300 "temporary waivers" exempting public and private organizations, labor unions, even the entire state of Maine from complying with various aspects of the law; federal district and appelate courts have issued conflicting opinions either upholding or striking down its very constitutionality and the Supreme Court will need to take up the matter; and now the Obama Administration has abandoned a major part of the program as fundamentally unworkable -- because they didn't do their actuarial homework.

    I expect the abandonment of the CLASS Act is a harbinger of things to come. Hope is not a method, and zeal is no substitute for competence. Sadly, in their zeal, the Administration and Democratic leadership has besmirched the very cause they believe in.

  110. This shows that the administration is willing to compromise and make changes and that is a good thing. No bill is perfect. They all need tweaking. All of you that continue to say we need to get rid of the entire law are wrong. We must work with this law to make it better. The republicans will only try to privatize health care and pass the costs on to the beneficiaries, ie., Ryan plan. The Ryan Plan did nothing to bring down the costs because they are in the pockets of the big corporations that want to make money off of health care. If we do nothing to insure more people, then those that are insured will continue to pay for everyone else. Eventually, we must have Universal health care for all, a system that insures us all. In my opinion, that's the only option we will have and I believe that the public will realize this after the republicans privatize it and none of us can afford to have it, only the rich.

  111. There are so many things wrong with our healthcare system at this point, I wouldn't even know where to begin. So, I'll drill down to a very specific viewpoint which I encounter when trying to examine prospects for my 84 year old mother here in Ohio. The bottom line is that unless you qualify for Medicaid (having no assets and subject to having all of your income diverted to paying for your medical expenses) the costs can range from $25,000 per year for assisted living to $50,000 per year for nursing home care. Aging in place at home (until one cannot) is only sightly less than assisted living based on having about 15 hours of paid assistance per week and continuing to pay for home repairs, food, etc. What I hear most often from well meaning individuals with whom I've casually discussed this, is, what about family? Where's the family? Society needs to take care of its own, etc. etc. We really are living in a historical, agricultural society daydream, while the country's politics over the last 30 years have caused families to breakdown, migrating to get better jobs, or any jobs, linking healthcare to those jobs, making that migration harder, even while more necessary. These unimaginative folks are the same ones who've been hoodwinked with "family values" in every election cycle too, and can't comprehend why, as an only child, I might be very reluctant to try to care for my elderly mom in my own house while working, and turning 60 myself, only to have to move her again, possibly when I can't manage a "two person lift" in my home. Then, it's off to the nursing home and all assets used up anyway along with whatever Medicaid support is required. Get real, America.

  112. I am not unusual, at all. I pay over $1000 per month to insure myself, my wife, and my two children. We've been doing this for years, though sometimes our employers have picked up most of the tab.

    My family and I barely use our insurance. Wife and I are mid-30s, children are, thankfully, healthy. Yet I know that I cannot stop paying the 1000 bucks, even for a week. And I also know that, as I spend what to me is a large sum (more than half my mortgage and significant portion of my salary, which is only slightly above average), I am receiving nothing in return if I don't file claims.

    I would much rather pay that money (or, better yet, half that money) into a public option, as an investment in my fellow citizens and in my future. I may not need it now, but as long as I'm paying into a public system, I know that it won't vanish if I lose my job, which could easily happen any day. And then what? Under the current system my family and I will simply join millions of other Americans who must live knowing that, one day, a health care bill will crush them.

  113. I opposed the health care reform bill that was passed last year on, and wrote at least a dozen blog articles against it. I specifically opposed this component of the law, which was emblematic of the unrealistic expectations that infused the entire bill.

    In this one I first showed the analysis by the CBO, which by law may not do an independent analysis of the costs of a bill, but must accept the numbers supplied by the majority party, in this case Democrats. I then dug into the report by the actuary department of Medicare, the chief Richard Foster, whom I actually corresponded with, which gave a dramatically different picture:

    "In general, voluntary, unsubsidized, and non-underwritten insurance programs such as CLASS face a significant risk of failure as a result of adverse selection by participants. Individuals with health problems wold be more likely to participate than those in better than average health.....a classic "assessment spiral" or "insurance death spiral" ......there is significant risk that the problem of adverse selection would make the CLASS program unsustainable."

    I'm happy that the Obama administration has finally seen the light. I only wish they had seen it sooner and sponsored a more limited, but workable law.

    Here's the article: The invisible program in HCR that betrays its corruption:

  114. I am healthy and have long term care insurance. It is a great protection of wealth from a calamity. My insurance company no longer provides long term care insurance because too many people have bought it and are not canceling. Their liability is huge when people start using it, so to limit the liability they stopped providing it. Their canceling this type of policy shows it was popular and valuable. This is what will be written as an epitaph of Obama's Presidency... he should have tried harder. Everything that is hard... fighting against Republican hard liners with the racist, Koch Brother funded Tea Party.... he shies away from it. Call it what is this is... the Republican Party is ruled by a racist, scared group of people afraid that the President's skin color is black. Most of the items Obama has suggested have a starting point in Republican initiatives. The Senate has more Democrats than Republicans, but bills with 51 votes are considered loses; this makes no logical sense other than inside Washington politics. The problem is even his jobs program is going nowhere because he is bringing a water pistol to a knife fight. He does not have the stomach to stand and fight. The President is the leader of the country and a political party. He keeps forgetting he is a Democrat and the leader of the party. Bush was an idiot and led this country into ruin by listening to Rove and Cheney, but he understood he was the leader of the Republicans. There are times where you have to wonder if Cheney was President and Rove was VP in the real decision making. Bush was just the public face like a public spokesman we see for perfume or some other product. The President as a product to be sold, not a person who is a leader. We have had such a vacuum in leadership with 8 years of Bush, that we do not have the capacity to hear the truth from our leaders. Obama does not tell us how big is the mess. Republicans believe tax breaks solve everything. Both are wrong.

  115. This entire thing was doomed from the start. For profit health care in the long run cannot be afforded by the majority of our citizens. This system will fail and any other that doesn't take on and seek to control the huge profits of the HMO's, AMA physician groups, for profit hospital system, and drug companies. As Europe already learned, single payer and controlled cost is the only way to insure that each citizen has an opportunity to receive reasonable priced and timely health care. No worries though; we are all just rearranging the deck chairs while the ship of state continues to take on water.

  116. When did the president get the power to arbitrarily eliminate a program that Congress passed into law? Just unbelievable corruption and incompetence here. Staggering. One more criminal and impeachable offense to add to the very long list of the most incompetent, corrupt and right-wing president we've ever had. This man is a utter disgrace to humanity. Not only has he failed to improve health care in any way, he's made a very, very bad situation much worse.

  117. I actually find it encouraging that we have an administration that follows up and changes course if necessary, especially when it involves an issue that is so inflammatory -- as evidenced by many of the comments here. Everyone knows this nation was in dire need of health care reform. We also know that big change in policy of this nature is historically imperfect, and must be dealt with along the way. Be thankful that thoughtful people are in charge, not the head in the sand stubbornly defiant type of leadership that so many seem to be longing to return to.

  118. Eugene #29 wrote: "There is a reason why citizens from Canada come to the United States for surgery."

    Oh yes, and the numbers are truly shocking:

    "Only 90 of 18,000 respondents to the 1996 Canadian NPHS indicated that they had received health care in the United States during the previous twelve months, and only twenty indicated that they had gone to the United States expressly for the purpose of getting that care."

    (Source: Phantoms In The Snow: Canadians’ Use Of Health Care Services In The United States, Katz et al.)

  119. "When Washington is ready to pass real health care reform they should look to our neighbors to the north. Taxes are “nearly equal” on both sides of the border".
    Sorry, but you do not know what you are talking about. Canadians are taxed to death by both the Federal and Provinces. I have traveled extensively in Canada and own property there. The standard of living outside of the metro areas is 15 yrs. behind the U.S. Health care for the rural areas would not be accredited in the States because of quality measures. That is why Canadians seek tertiary care in the U.S. rather than our citizens crossing the border per your premise. We need solutions that are more creative than putting our lives in the hands of government bureaucrats who have yet to figure out how to deliver a piece of mail.

  120. in the article, it clearly states that Ms. Sebelius (representing the government she works under) states that “We have not identified a way to make Class work at this time,” and indeed they have no concept of what class (as in a refined, exceptional, humane, dignified character) is or probably even could be.

    healthcare should be free for all, as in even those nations who do not wave high the banner of "democracy"

  121. This is the first major component of Obamacare to collapse under its own weight, but by no means is it likely to be the last.

    The law is replete with nonsensical economic assumptions and shameless gimmicks.

    Democrats may have hoped these would not start to become clear until after the 2012 election, but we now already have a good idea of what the world will look like under Obamacare: waivers for the politically connected, rising premiums for the rest of us, and massive spending programs that can’t survive their own assumptions.

  122. Well, good Lord, as Molly Ivins used to say. If they weren't trying to stay inside that clunky, insurance-company, profit-based model of "healthcare," they might make it work. But treating self-inflicted wounds, that costs a fortune. What, pray tell, was the point of all this? There are other things we could have done during the year or more we wasted on this healthcare "reform" bill. Does it matter now if the Fanatic Five declare the rest of it unconstitutional next June?

    For whatever it is worth--probably not much--I am spending the tiny sums I used to send to the Obama campaign on loaves of bread for the Occupy Wall Streeters. Cast thy bread upon the waters and all that. This nation and this planet are so deeply fouled up, I do not know if any of this will matter in 20 years; perhaps reading the history of these times will be like reading about Austro-Hungarian imperial politics. Those of us who live long enough will find out.


  123. The USA has always been firmly owned and operated by bankers, corporations and other exploiters of the masses operating under the guise of religious superiority.I like to call this "Social Calvinism". These moneybags are the "elect" of God, the rest of humanity are merely the "slaves" and "servants" that Scripture advises to "be obedient". The great military hero General Smedley Butler USMC ended his years as a pacifist after realizing how all those heroic Marine actions in the Philippines, Nicaragua, China etc were all to protect American business interests and exploit the people and land, under the guise of "protecting Americans" and installing a "democratic" government.This usually meant installing an American puppet dictator. On November 22, 1963, the last President to attempt to maintain the integrity of the office was made an example of. A coup took place that day, and only those who fool themselves into a Freudian state of self delusion would deny it. Every President since got the message.Do what the invisible hand that pulls the string tells you what to do or else! Obama is a special type of establishment tool known as a "neutralizer". He presents a persona of difference. He's Black, and he is seen as a Muslim sympathizer because of his "funny" name. He's never said anything about gun control, yet the right wing paints his as a "gun grabber" anyway. This, plus his socialist ideas on health care and taxes (which are practiced all over the Western hemisphere by other countries NOT referred to as socialist), and his pro-choice stance make him a perfect target to divert from the masses the fact that they are being shot in the foot every day by bankers, insurers, pharmaceuticals and the government hacks they buy and sell like dirty underwear (we call them "politicians"). Americans are the least sophisticated of all voters.The current protestors are being treated like the ones of the 60's, as "weirdos". They know the score, do you?

  124. Doesn't Medicare already have to pay for this care, for most people?

    It seems to me that creative solutions to this problem could be found. Perhaps some of the home health care wage-and-hour requirements imposed by the states could be relaxed. When investigating in-home health care options for my parents, I found that their state requires that aides be paid a minimum of four hours' pay, at (in their metro area) about $20 per hour, or $80 for each visit, regardless of how much time the aide actually spends with the patient. Why couldn't an aide be assigned several homes in a neighborhood, on a staggered visitation schedule, with the neighbors sharing the cost, and the aide billing more per hour, but less per household?