Senator Thune has an op-ed in this morning’s Washington Times regarding the effects of one of the more pernicious programs in Obamacare – the CLASS Act Ponzi scheme. Now that even Secretary Sebelius has admitted that the CLASS program is “totally unsustainable” as written in Obamacare, some Democrats have another solution. Former Obama Administration budget chief Peter Orszag, writing in Foreign Affairs in June, called for making participation in the CLASS Act mandatory; in fact, he said the “only solutions” to make the CLASS program solvent may be “to make the purchase of such insurance mandatory or to require employers to provide it by default unless employees opt out.”
Peter Orszag’s willingness to impose yet another unprecedented mandate on the American people – before the individual mandate to purchase health insurance has even reached the Supreme Court – shows just how Democrats will attempt to use any Court ruling upholding an insurance mandate to enact ever more intrusive federal requirements on American citizens. Based on the arguments expressed in the Obamacare mandate cases to date, one can easily see how Democrats could extend that logic to justify mandatory participation in the CLASS Act:
- The federal role in funding Medicaid’s long-term care coverage constitutes interstate commerce;
- One study found that the only way to keep CLASS Act premiums below $100 per month – a level that HHS officials called the “consensus threshold needed to get decent participation” – is to mandate that all Americans participate in the program, thereby proving that a federal requirement is “essential;”
- Doubtless the Administration would also cite statistics that nearly 2/3rd of Americans over age 65 utilize long-term care to argue that because nearly everyone will need care as they age, individuals not participating in CLASS are making a choice not to purchase coverage.
While Democrats have publicly derided the notion of “broccoli mandates” by arguing that the health insurance mandate is unique, the fact that someone like Peter Orszag would so blithely impose yet another mandate on the American people – before the individual mandate has even been found constitutional – shows that the individual mandate, if upheld, would be merely the first in a long line of new requirements and diktats imposed by Washington bureaucrats on the liberties of Americans everywhere.