Important features of the American political system that were designed to prevent flawed policy actually incentivize and encourage the development of it. The most important reason CLASS was structured in an unworkable manner and was then allowed to move forward to become law was because it was designed around the new rules of the policymaking process established under the 1974 good government reforms. One important outgrowth of these reforms, then, has been to unintentionally institutionalize a system in which policymakers are incentivized to design economically unsound programs. The CLASS case also underscores a broader and troubling feature of the contemporary American welfare state. Having evolved over many decades, it now overcompensates in some areas and, partially as a result, overlooks issues—like long-term care—that pose the greatest threat to today’s middle class. This concluding chapter also considers whether a version of CLASS that included the fixes could have worked and explores other paths to long-term care reform.
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