The Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS Act) program that was included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was repealed in H.R. 8, the "fiscal cliff" deal legislation that passed both houses of Congress on Tuesday. The CLASS Act was designed to provide options for long term services and supports (LTSS) by allowing people to voluntarily purchase LTSS insurance through a federal program. In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stopped implementing the CLASS Act, deeming it unsustainable because it could not be both affordable and voluntary. (See A Report on the Actuarial, Marketing, and Legal Analyses of the CLASS Program.) Because the CLASS Act was not implemented, repealing it now does not have any real impact on the budget or the deficit.
Supporters of the CLASS Act say that the framework of the Act is sound, and with some retooling it can effectively address the way LTSS are paid for. Though the CLASS Act was formally repealed, the same legislation created a new national commission that will work to develop a plan for better financing and delivery of LTSS.