Here’s the gist: to bring down the initial scoring numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, the Democrats created and stood by a completely unworkable entitlement program that would show a tremendous initial payoff on paper, even in the face of repeated warnings that the long-term prospects of said program were unsustainable.
In Guy Benson’s piece, he quotes heavily from the Associated Press exclusive. While I still want you to click over a read Benson’s piece–it’s called “Assigned Reading” here at AR for a reason, folks!–I’ll provide a few excerpts from both Benson’s and the AP’s pieces, just to whet your whistle with regard to what could be yet another scandal that the Republicans will inexplicably remain silent on, joining the likes of
- Fast and Furious
- DoJ/Gibson Guitars
- Pretty much every decision made by Eric Holder
So, the excerpts. First, from Benson’s piece, an idea of what’s going on.
Rep. Paul Ryan exposed and debunked Democrats’ most audacious tricks during the healthcare summit — which of course did absolutely nothing to convince Democrats of the error of their ways. During his illuminating dissection of the bill, Ryan mentioned a provision called the CLASS Act, a new federally funded long-term care program embedded within Obamacare. Ryan quoted Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat, as decrying the program as a Madoff-style “Ponzi scheme.” Why? Because the premiums supposedly collected to pay for the CLASS Act over Obamacare’s first decade would be injected into that phony, contrived “deficit reducing” CBO formula — while the program itself would likely collapse under its own weight almost immediately. In other words, some critics suspected, Democrats were creating an entire program just to extract hypothetical dollars from its front-loaded revenue mechanism to “pay for” the larger bill — with no real intention of implementing a sustainable long-term care program. To outside observers like Ryan, it looked like a giant shell game. As we now know, it looked that way to inside observers, too.
And then, from the AP (emphasis Benson’s):
Emails show that the first warning about CLASS came in May 2009, from Richard Foster, head of long range economic forecasts for Medicare. “At first glance this proposal doesn’t look workable,” Foster wrote in an email to other HHS officials, some of whom were working with Congress to get CLASS into the health care law. Foster said a rough outline of the program would have to enroll more than 230 million people — more than the U.S. workforce — to be financially feasible. But work on CLASS continued, bolstered by a report for AARP that laid out scenarios for implementing the plan. The AARP study also raised financial concerns, although the seniors’ lobby supports CLASS. (My note: More incomprehensible treachery from AARP).
In July, Foster tried again. After reviewing the latest information from Kennedy’s office, he wrote HHS officials: “Thirty-six years of (professional) experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant federal subsidies to continue.” Too late. The Obama administration had decided to support CLASS. Documents and emails indicate that Foster was edged out of deliberations.
Please read both. Commit the details to memory. This scandal will be yet another arrow in the quiver as we prepare to do battle during what will inevitably be an ugly election year.