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'Fiscal cliff' deal repeals part of 'Obamacare'

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Tucked inside the “fiscal cliff” deal is a provision repealing the CLASS Act, a giant unfunded mandate that was part of President Obama’s health care law.

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and was designed to create a program for long-term care for the functionally disabled.

Mr. Obama halted the program, saying he couldn’t find a way to make it cost-effective. But he had objected when Republicans tried to repeal it outright, saying he wanted to keep it on the books and try to amend it rather than kill it.

But he did an about-face this week, accepting repeal in exchange for raising tax rates on the wealthiest.

Mr. Obama also won a new commission to look at long-term care. The commission is supposed to come back and report on ways to boost health coverage for those the CLASS program was designed to reach.

The cliff deal passed the Senate 89-8 early Tuesday morning and was awaiting a vote in the House later in the day.

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