Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said she had concluded that premiums would be so high that few healthy people would sign up. The program, which was intended for people with chronic illnesses or severe disabilities, was known as Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, or Class....A Ponzi scheme! I guess it was terrible of Conrad to call it a Ponzi scheme at the time, but now the administration is admitting that no matter how hard they try, they just can't disguise the fact that it's a Ponzi scheme.
“We have not identified a way to make Class work at this time,” Ms. Sebelius said. She said the program, which had been championed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, was financially unsustainable....
When Congress was developing the program in late 2009, Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota and chairman of the Budget Committee, described it as “a Ponzi scheme of the first order” because it required an ever-increasing stream of premiums to cover the cost of benefits.
The question remains: What are the other Ponzi schemes, the ones you're not yet forced to admit are Ponzi schemes?
Realize that the Class Act was portrayed as a source of revenue in the calculations about the feasibility of the entire health care reform. To go back to that Firedoglake post (discussed earlier today here):
[I]n deep-sixing the CLASS Act, the Administration just forfeited $86 billion in savings on the Affordable Care Act.I know... try to get your mind around that.
That’s because the CLASS Act was a net revenue positive in the ten-year window of the legislation, because it collected more in premiums that it paid out in the early years, according to CBO scoring.Wow. That explanation is head-slappingly weird but you see the point: There was never $86 billion to be used to offset other costs, but it was used anyway.
So the effective nullification of the CLASS Act costs $86 billion. But it’s unlikely that $86 billion will be made up in any other way. If Congress repealed the CLASS Act, they might have to find offsets. But since the White House just isn’t going to implement the program, the savings won’t be realized but nobody has to worry about paygo or anything. It just blows a hole in the medium-term budget.