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COBRA and the Camel’s Nose

John on February 11, 2009 at 11:32 am

Tipster/blogger Richmond sent me another great find the other day, but I was too sick to do anything with it. Now I’m catching up. What he’s found is the proverbial camel’s nose of universal health insurance sticking under the big tent of stimulus spending:

Economic stimulus legislation approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday would provide temporary federal COBRA health insurance premium subsidies.

Under the measure, approved on a 14-9 vote, the federal government would pay 65% of COBRA for employees who lose their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009. The subsidy would be available for up to nine months.

In case your health insurance jargon isn’t up to speed, let me break that down. COBRA is a program that allows employees who’ve been fired to hold onto their policy, if they pay the premium in full themselves. But the new Democratically engineered stimulus has a provision whereby 65% of the premium for fired/layed off employees will now be picked up by the taxpayer.

As Morgen noted in his e-mail to me, this is the first time the federal government has ever directly paid the health insurance costs of Americans who weren’t part of specific vulneralbe populations, i.e. Medicare or SCHIP. This is one step on the road to socialized health care in America. If you think that’s a good idea, read this.

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Category: Health & Education |

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