Disability insurance program a target in debt talks

Health care spending is a target in every debt-reduction package that’s being talked about in Washington these days. One program that’s currently in the bulls-eye: the so-called CLASS Act, or Community Living Assistance Services and Supports.

It was created under federal health reform to increase health care options for people with disabilities, seen as a way to help that population avoid financial catastrophe that often accompany long-term medical care. Proponents of the measure said it could also provide much-needed fiscal relief to states like Connecticut, where the Medicaid program, which pays for long-term care for the poor and disabled, is a major chunk of the budget.

But the CLASS Act has been deeply controversial from the get-go, with Republicans in Congress aiming to repeal it. And it might be one element of health reform that Democrats are willing to sacrifice at the debt-reduction alter.

Kaiser Health News has this round-up of opinions about whether the CLASS Act should be preserved or nixed.