Committee Leaders Call on HHS to Provide Evidence on CLASS' Viability

October 5, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) today sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to call on HHS to provide evidence regarding the viability of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program and office. The letter comes after HHS failed to comply with the committee's informal requests.

"According to a September 28, 2011, blog post from Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, the Department "˜recently received a report from the actuary retained by CLASS which provides the actuarial analysis of a number of potential CLASS benefit plans.'" The letter requests HHS provide a copy of the actuarial report by October 6.

The leaders also seek clarification on the status of the CLASS Office. "Two weeks ago, an actuary for the CLASS office commented to the press that he had been terminated and the CLASS office was being closed.  HHS denied that this was true, but HHS reportedly told Senate Democrats that funding for the CLASS office would not be needed in 2012. Given this series of events, there is substantial confusion among the public, as evidenced by the reporting on this issue, and the members of this committee about what the future holds for the CLASS Act and what actions the committee should be considering with respect to relevant legislation and/or oversight." 

HHS is urged to provide a copy of any work product related to the actuarial report, CLASS-related analyses performed or reports submitted by contractors working with the CLASS office, a copy of the contracts defining the terms of service with those contractors, and a copy of all email communications from or to HHS employees discussing the work performed by the contractors by October 19.

Click here to read the entire letter.

On September 15, a bicamercal Repeal CLASS Working Group issued an investigative report detailing the insolvency of the CLASS program. Click here to view a copy.