Add the CLASS Act to the ever growing list of damaging stories (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to the bungling Obama administration that the media are, for the most part, whistling by. The news last Friday that a key part of Obamacare, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS), meant to provide long-term care for the elderly – was deemed not sustainable by the Obama administration itself, drew a total of just 40 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast network news shows.
ABC's Good Morning America, on Saturday, included just a 20 second brief by Ron Claiborne who alerted viewers that the "Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature health care overhaul" because it was not "financially viable."
Then, later that day the CBS Evening News - seen by few since college football meant it did not air in the Eastern and Central time zones - also ran a 20 second brief with weekend anchor Anthony Mason notifying viewers: "The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took affect."
NBC has yet to cover the topic on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. There wasn't even a word of it on the political roundtable Sunday shows (ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press).
The editors of National Review probably best summed up how the demise of the CLASS Act is emblematic of why Obamacare was doomed to fail, when they wrote the following in their October 14 online edition:
In other words, the United States Congress passed, and the President of the United States signed, a piece of politically convenient legislation that was essentially–that is, mathematically, logically–unworkable, and were either too foolish to realize it, or too cynical to see.
The following items, from the October 15 editions of Good Morning America and CBS Evening News, represent the sum total of Big Three network coverage on the latest embarrassing setback for the Obama administration.
ABC's Good Morning America, October 15:
RON CLAIBORNE: And the Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature healthcare overhaul. It is scrapping a long-term insurance plan that was supposed to begin next year, saying it is not financially viable. It would have helped cover costs for nursing home care or in-home assistance for people with severe disabilities. Critics have blasted it for being too expensive.
CBS Evening News, October 15:
ANTHONY MASON: The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took effect. The plan would have provided disability coverage for workers who voluntarily paid a premium during their working lives. However, the administration said yesterday, enrollment projections are falling far short of what would have been required to fund the program.
- Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.