House Republicans moved closer to eliminating a program in the healthcare reform law when the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
Members of the powerful panel that makes tax law—and which has jurisdiction over the Medicare program—voted 23 to 13 to support the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011 (PDF), a bill from Rep. Dr. Charles Boustany (R-La.) that would repeal the CLASS Act, the voluntary, long-term care insurance program that HHS suspended last fall. Before the holiday break, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved Boustany's bill in a 33-17 vote. Now that the legislation has cleared these committees, it will advance to the House floor for consideration. No timeline has been given for the lower chamber's vote, but Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a physician, said after Wednesday's committee meeting that he thinks it will happen this quarter.