Raising Women’s Voices

Health care provisions in the economic stimulus package

Posted in DC Reform, Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on February 20, 2009

Last week, Congress reached a deal on a $789.5 billion stimulus package.  According to the Washington Post, while President Obama admitted some ground was ceded in the negotiating process, most of his priorities were included in the legislation, “including longer-term health care and energy investments.”  The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report listed relevant provisions of the package:

Provide federal subsidies for health insurance under COBRA that would cover 60% of the cost of premiums for as long as nine months and impose income eligibility limits for the subsidies.  (Note: This is lower than the 65% in the House bill and a shorter time period, as well).

Distribute 65% of $87 billion in additional federal funds for state Medicaid programs under the current formula and distribute the remainder based on growth in unemployment rates in states.

Not included: The compromise stimulus package does not include a provision in the House version that would have allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage to recently unemployed workers.

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