Just posted on Senator Kennedy’s website…
Currently there are 10 million Americans in need of long term services and supports, and the number is expected to increase to near 15 million by 2020. Too often, many individuals are forced to live in poverty just so they can qualify for Medicaid to get the care they need, which is counter to the American way.
Because of its common sense approach to helping Americans take their future into their own hands while saving taxpayer dollars, the CLASS Act has gained the support of almost 100 groups representing the disabled, the elderly, and America’s workers. Today, these groups sent a strong letter to President Obama urging him to include long term services and supports in the nations’ health care reform initiative.
The CLASS Act is based on the principles of independence, choice, and empowerment. It is the framework needed to help individuals gain the access they need to live independently. The CLASS Act does this by establishing a national insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become severely functionally impaired. To qualify for benefits, individuals must be 18 years old and have contributed to the program at least 5 years. All working adults will be automatically enrolled in the program, unless they choose not to be.
This legislation builds on the promise and the possibility of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and respects the rights and dignity of all Americans — especially our disabled and senior citizens, to live their life as they choose.