Ruling could speed repeal of long-term care plan

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR , Associated Press

(AP) -- A troubled long-term care plan in President Barack Obama's health overhaul has suffered another setback.

A ruling Monday by the nonpartisan makes it easier for GOP opponents to seek repeal of the CLASS Act, which was supposed to provide affordable long-term care insurance. Last Friday, the Obama administration announced the program would not go forward, saying it was financially unsustainable - although the said Monday that it does not support repeal.

In its ruling, CBO said repealing CLASS would have no impact on the deficit.

That removes a major obstacle for repeal, because until now CLASS has counted as reducing the deficit by more than $80 billion. Those estimated savings were from premiums that would have been collected before the program paid any benefits.

But White House spokesman Nick Papas said Monday that "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," Papas said.

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