Disability Plan Could Be Another Roadblock To Health Reform BillThe Washington Times reports that an "insurance plan championed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy that would help elderly or disabled people avoid nursing homes ironically adds yet another sticking point to the comprehensive health care reform plans" in Congress.
Moderate Democrats and Republicans worry the Community Living Services and Support Act will increase the deficit and make the federal government responsible for another insurance program. "Under the proposal in the House-passed version of the overhaul, the CLASS Act fund would collect monthly premiums, estimated to be $65 in 2011, from the wages of all working Americans, unless they elect to opt out - a technique used to help drive participation. Once they pay premiums for five years, participants would be eligible for cash benefits to help them buy in-home care, if they can no longer care for themselves." Several senators have expressed concerns that purported savings on the plan don't start until 2016 and that benefits paid will outweigh premiums gathered (Haberkorn, 11/11). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.