The Senate is now considering a stimulus package which strips out many of the important health insurance provisions included in the House plan. EPI economist Elise Gould explains why that would be a mistake: “The most significant missing piece is a provision to provide Medicaid to unemployed workers, which would keep families afloat and provide a boost to their disposable income — exactly what the economy needs right now. Fortunately, the Senate version does maintain COBRA subsidies to workers who recently lost their jobs, but a plan to extend COBRA to older workers for an increased period is gone. The COBRA subsidies, while perhaps not generous enough, do aid those workers who qualify for the insurance continuation program. Unfortunately, many workers — particularly those at the bottom of the income distribution — do not qualify. These valuable provisions should be restored.”
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