A CLASS Mandate Flunks the Test

Brian Blase /

Brian Riedl argued in a Washington Times piece on Tuesday that the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act should be repealed. CLASS, a government-run long-term care (LTC) insurance program, has been widely panned by actuaries as unsustainable and likely to result in a future taxpayer bailout.

Howard Gleckman of the Urban Institute responded in turn with an argument that participation in CLASS should be made mandatory. Gleckman’s argument, however, is flawed.

As Americans live longer, demand for long-term care services grows. Gleckman correctly states that Medicaid, which is busting state budgets, pays for half of all LTC in the U.S. at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. Medicaid pays the LTC expenses for individuals who have little accumulated wealth or who have spent down their wealth. (more…)