SEPTEMBER 16, 2011
In the latest scandal to rock Obamacare, a new federal probe reveals the administration withheld crucial information from Congress about a costly healthcare entitlement program that it knew was fiscally unsustainable.It marks the latest exposé of the secrecy that has prevailed throughout the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. Last year Judicial Watch obtained alarming documents regarding closed-door healthcare meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Obamacare Czar Nancy-Ann Min DeParle and union officials.Just a few days ago JW made public thousands of pages of additional documents involving the administration’s secretive process in granting waivers exempting companies and unions from inconvenient provisions of Obamacare. As of July 2011, 1,472 one-year waivers and 106 three-year waivers were granted, covering some 3.4 million enrollees, more than half of which belong to unions. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union members account for only about 12% of the total workforce.This week’s Obamacare scandal du jour comes from a congressional panel that concludes the administration lied to push a costly long-term care program known as Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS). Internal documents obtained by lawmakers from a committee of House and Senate Republicans reveal officials in Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were acutely aware that the program was unsustainable and suppressed the information from Congress and the public.The bicameral committee lists its findings in a scathing report that says HHS knew CLASS was likely to collapse as it pushed hard to pass it. While senior HHS officials publicly confirmed that CLASS was solvent, they privately called it “a recipe for disaster” in internal communications obtained as part of the probe. In fact, they had been warned by federal healthcare experts that the entitlement program would likely require a federal bailout or another insurance mandate.CLASS is supposed to provide long-term care insurance, including nursing home payments and in-home nursing care. Benefits are supposed to be funded with contributors’ premiums and not taxpayer money. However, under the current structure, it would need more enrollees (234 million) than the entire American workforce. Internal communications released this week indicate CLASS would essentially require federal subsidies or a mandate forcing all workers to pay into the government’s new program.
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