The relevant portion of Obamacare is called CLASS, short for Community Living Assistance Services And Support, a favorite cause of former Senator Ted Kennedy (D - Jim Beam). It wasn't a government plan per se, it was just sponsored by the government. It was actually a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan. Anyone who worked, regardless of age or health, could sign up. They would pay a small monthly premium during their working years. If they became disabled (you would have to be enrolled for at least five years before collecting anything), they could collect $50 a day or more to pay for services at home or at a nursing home. But, in order for this to work, large numbers of healthy people need to sign up for it. Otherwise, disabled beneficiaries would drive premiums up, destabilize the fund, and require a taxpayer bailout.
Now, the bright side here is that CLASS was not automatically implemented. The bill that passed Obamacare required the administration to prove CLASS would remain financially solvent for at least 75 years before it could be implemented. Everyone in the adminstration said they could make it work. But on Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threw in the towel. She sent a letter to congressional leaders saying, "Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time."
This is really bad news for Obama. Not because of the dent this puts in Obamacare, but from a budgetary standpoint. Obama was counting on it being implemented and using it to show the deficit being reduced by $80 bil over the next ten years. The next budget will reflect new numbers, just in time for campaign season. There's also the domino effect -- how this will affect other numbers in the budget and Obamacare itself as this important tentpole is no longer there.
R's are already using it for talking points. "This is a victory for the American taxpayer and future generations," said Sen. John Thune (R - Opportunists), who led opposition in the Senate. "The administration is finally admitting it is unsustainable and cannot be implemented." Oh, quit acting like you really care about us.
Get ready to hear a lot more about this....