Wednesday night, the House approved H.R. 1173 by a vote of 267-159 that would appeal the CLASS Act.Now the repeal bill faces consideration in the Senate.
Although the bill easily passed in the House, the path to the President’s desk will likely be blocked by the Senate. This outcome is even acknowledged by the Senate sponsor, Senator John Thune (R-SD), of a similar bill (S. 720), which stands virtually no chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The Senate leadership has not decided on how or when similar action will take place in the Senate.ANCOR concurs with House Energy and Commerce member Representative Lois Capps’ (D-CA) statement made during the debate on the House floor last night: “The CLASS program is not perfect, but it can be used as a framework for repairing and fixing the program.”
ANCOR also agrees with Senate Finance Health Subcommittee Chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) remarks in an op-ed in Politico: ”Repealing CLASS won’t do anything to solve our nation’s long-term care crisis. Legislation rarely starts out perfectly…. The fact is, solving real problems requires us to build on each other’s work. Not tear it down…. Twenty years ago, the bipartisan Pepper Commission voted overwhelmingly, 11-4, in favor of a major long-term care initiative. Since then, Congress has acted, bit by bit, to improve our long-term care system. But there is a wide gulf between the current patchwork and a strong system that can meet the needs of millions of Americans who need long-term services and support, or who want to plan for the future….Rather than repealing CLASS outright, we should all put our ideas on the table. And have the long-overdue debate that the American people deserve.”
Before taking up any legislation to repeal the CLASS Act, ANCOR believes that the Senate should follow the House regular order process of first holding committee debate and mark-up of a bill before it brings any bill to the Senate floor.
Thank you to all ANCOR members who made telephone calls to Representatives in response to our alert to oppose repeal of the CLASS Act. Stay tuned for future alert to the Senate and the White House.