Unemployment Update: Senate passes Defense Bill – includes extension of eligibility for UE emergency bens and extends eligibility and duration of COBRA subsidy
I am strenuously ignoring what is happening on the Hill today with HCR. Politico has the Dem ‘Highlight’ document up and it proudly announces CHILDREN will be exempt from pre existing condition limits in the bill, which of course means ADULTS are not. What a POS this thing is. Anyway. Happy talk dammit! The Senate managed to do something good on health care, and it is NOT in this POS bill. It was attached to the Defense Bill, a COBRA extension.
The bill contained the Patriot Act renewal so the lamestream media, in their constant attempts to ‘protect’ O from anything they view as negative, is not reporting all the details of what was in the bill.
They actually extended the COBRA subsidy, as the House did earlier in the week.
…The legislation makes some key changes to programs which were set to expire. For instance:
•The congressional stimulus bill passed in February created a program that paid 65% of monthly insurance premiums for people who lost their employer-based health care coverage because they were laid off. But that program was only open to people who lost their jobs – and their coverage – by the end of 2009. The new bill extends that eligibility deadline by two months, until the end of February 2010.
•It also adds six months to what was a 9-month period that the federal government would make the 65% of payments through the COBRA health plan, extending the period of payments to 15 months.
•The legislation also extends the deadline to qualify for additional unemployment benefits. Last month, Congress passed legislation adding 14 more weeks of emergency benefits – and six more on top of that for people in hard-hit states like Michigan. But they were only available to people exhausting all their other unemployment benefits by the end of December. The new bill extends that deadline to the end of February.
•It also maintains 2009 federal poverty guidelines – which if reset could have moved some people off food stamps and Medicaid – and adds additional funding to the food stamp program.
•Finally, the legislation authorizes the Small Business Association to continue programs to make loans more attractive to borrowers and lenders, in order to free up credit for businesses…