POLITICS

GOP takes first step toward repealing CLASS Act

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

House Republicans took the first step toward repealing the troubled long-term care program in President Obama's health care law that even his own administration has abandoned as unworkable.

Though the CLASS program won't be implemented by the administration because the Department of Health and Human Services could not find a way to make it sustainable, it still remains officially on the books.

"I don't want to resurrect Dracula, I want to drive a stake through his heart," Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said at a hearing this morning on repealing the program.

By a voice vote, the House Energy and Commerce's health subcommittee voted to move repeal to the full committee, another prerequisite before it can go before the House floor for a vote.

Debbee Keller, a spokeswoman for the committee, said no date had been set for a repeal vote before the full panel, but she said it would happen before Christmas.

When it eventually gets to the House floor, it will present a difficult test for Democrats. On the one hand, they don't want to be on record voting for a provision of Obamacare that even the Obama administration has determined is unworkable. But on the other hand, they don't want to allow Republicans to claim that a large bipartisan majority voted to repeal a significant component of the health care law.

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