So attached is this guy to health-care boondoggles that he can’t bear to part with one that even his own HHS advisors admit is a catastrophe in the making.
Alas, fellow “Princess Bride” fans, it seems the CLASS Act is only … mostly dead.
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 CLASS Act advocates 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 web site 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.
In other words, it’s mathematically impossible to make the CLASS Act work, yet somehow The One’s going to make it work anyway. You’ll never find a sharper illustration of his basic approach to fiscal reality than you’re seeing right here.
In fairness, he probably does understand that the program’s well and truly dead, but so terrible would it look for him to sign legislation repealing any part of ObamaCare that he prefers the idiocy of vetoing a bill that’s aimed at undoing a program already undone by his own staff. There’s wonderful symbolism in that: Agenda and “messaging” trumps all, even if it means keeping a policy in place that’s now acknowledged as destructive by both parties. So much for the guy who was going to end “business as usual” in D.C. Guy Benson’s right too that O likely wants to keep stringing along the CLASS Act true believers for as long as he can, partly to soak them for donations before election day and partly to deflect tough questions they might ask about which other unworkable parts of ObamaCare the administration might be prepared to discard. All the more reason for the GOP to pursue repeal and put Senate Democrats on the spot. If they want to protect Obama by filibustering before it gets to his desk, great! Voting in favor of a program that even Kathleen Sebelius thinks is a hopeless boondoggle will make for some nifty NRSC attack ads next year. If Senate Dems are tired of covering for His Majesty and want to let him handle this with a veto, great! We, and the White House press corps, will have all sorts of “Obama vs. math” fun at his expense. There’s no downside here. Repeal, repeal, repeal.
Also via Benson, here’s a flashback from 2009 that I like to call “Harry Reid vs. math.” Reid knew at the time, of course, that CLASS was a bust from the word go. He can add. He’s just a liar who would say anything to get O-Care passed.