United Jewish Communities praised the introduction of federal legislation that would create voluntary long-term health care insurance. The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, also known as the CLASS Act, was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to UJC, the umbrella body for Jewish federations, the legislation “is a voluntary long-term and disability insurance program that would ensure individual choice in selecting long-term care.” The program would keep retirees from having to spend down into poverty to become eligible for Medicaid. “It is imperative that Congress pass this legislation not only to care for future generations but to sustain two vital programs for America’s most vulnerable: Medicare and Medicaid which are both at risk of going bankrupt,” William Daroff, the director of UJC’s Washington office said in a statement. “With long-term care being the key cost driver in each of the programs, the CLASS Act is the right dose of preventive medicine to remedy this problem.” Leaders in introducing the legislation are Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) The UJC was closely involved in shaping the legislation.
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