Sessions Asks: What Did Sebelius Know About Health Program’s Unsustainable Cost?

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, joined a bicameral group of lawmakers in sending a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, about the CLASS Act, a long-term care program created as part of the president’s healthcare bill.

The letter calls on Sebelius to explain her agency’s plan for the implementation of CLASS, and to answer questions about when she first became aware of internal HHS concerns—since revealed publicly—about the program’s sustainability. The letter, authored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), was also signed by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sessions, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT-AL), Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).

Sessions’ statement follows:

“Recently obtained emails show that throughout the healthcare debate there was substantial concern expressed by HHS and CMS officials over the CLASS program’s unsustainability. This raises a very serious question as to whether a deliberate effort was made by administration officials to conceal CLASS’ true cost in order to advance the president’s agenda. Accountability goes to the top. Lawmakers and the American people deserve to know when internal concerns over CLASS were first communicated to Secretary Sebelius and what, if any, actions she took to address them. Out of control government spending is threatening our nation’s future, making a prompt and thorough explanation all the more imperative. Accountability requires that top government officials be open, candid, and honest in their representations about these important issues. Serious questions have arisen that reflect poorly on our leaders.”