New Stimulus Package to Include Billions for Health Insurance

Next year’s stimulus package will include large investments in health care and health insurance reform, according to the Washington Post. The package could top $500 billion. There are a few major financial assistance health care programs slated to get a significant funding boost. Here are the programs in question:

SCHIP The successful State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program will likely play a big role in the upcoming health reform plan. SCHIP has been widely regarded as a very successful, but costly, program to get children the health insurance they need. Already Congress has supported the expansion of SCHIP to include more children, and it looks like it will happen under Obama.

COBRA U.S. Representative Pete Stark from California is calling for an expansion of COBRA, which allows unemployed people to continue their previous employer’s group health insurance coverage. But because COBRA coverage is expensive, Congressman Stark proposes providing subsidies to help the unemployed pay for the plan.

MEDICAID The Federal health coverage program for low income Americans is scheduled to receive up to $40 billion in the next two years as part of the Obama stimulus plan.

One of Obama’s campaign goals was to streamline medical recordkeeping process by automating it into computers. The stimulus package is likely to include at least $10 billion as assistance to health care providers and facilities to implement the plan. When the bill comes before Congress, there is certain to be plenty of debate over its final content.

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Ethan Kalvin

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