While Congress spent the last year debating how to provide health insurance for the uninsured, a little-known provision slipped into the heath care law that could cost some Americans upwards of $2,000 a year.
The Class Act, otherwise known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act, is the federal government's first long-term care insurance program.
Under-reported and the under the radar of most lawmakers, the program will allow workers to have an average of roughly $150 or $240 a month, based on age and salary, automatically deducted from their paycheck to save for long-term care.
The Congressional Budget Office expects the government will collect $109 billion in premiums by 2019.
Supporters say the program will relieve pressure on Medicaid and should help keep us out of nursing homes by enabling Americans to save for something most will eventually need -- assistance in eating, bathing or dressing in their old age.
Opponents say the provision is little more than a short-term revenue fix that will eventually add to the federal deficit.
"This is a scary proposition where the government passed a huge new entitlement program with gimmicks and tricks and the American people don't know they will be automatically enrolled in it by their employer if they don’t watch out," said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Nunes says Republicans were blindsided by the provision because they were unable to see the final bill until the very end. But Democratic supporters say the provision, which was championed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, should not be controversial. (continue reading here)