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COBRA Changes Included in Proposed Economic Stimulus Legislation

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February 10, 2009

The Associated Press reports that expansion of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act’s (COBRA) coverage is among the proposals included in legislative efforts to provide relief on account of the nation’s economic slowdown.  Both versions of the economic stimulus package currently before Congress, the version that passed the House and the version that is being considered (and now has adequate support) in the Senate, provide additional funding for extended COBRA coverage.  However, the proposals differ, as outlined below:

  • Senate — $21 billion to subsidize health care insurance  for the unemployed under the COBRA program; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $22 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities.

  • House — $40 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

The AP’s article is found here.

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