Washington, DC – The Arc of the United States, released the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives vote to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Program.
“Repealing the CLASS Program could force Americans to wait another generation for a solution to the need for long term services. This bill doesn’t change the fact that many Americans require these services, and it certainly doesn’t relieve the pressure off of Medicaid so that Medicaid can better serve the needs of low income communities. This vote won’t be the last say on this issue, and The Arc stands ready to work with Congress and the Administration to find a workable solution,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Program was created by the Affordable Care Act to help working adults prepare for their future in the event they need help maintaining independence in the community. If CLASS is not implemented, the Medicaid program will continue to take on the load of long term service needs for many individuals. Average home and community-based care now costs over $21,000 per year. Few Americans have insurance to cover these costs. Only 3% have private long term care insurance and the majority are forced to impoverish themselves to qualify for Medicaid.