Details are still emerging about the $789 billion stimulus compromise, but here is what we’re hearing about the health care provisions:
- Maintained an additional $6.5 billion for medical research that was inserted at the insistence of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
- Split the difference on a formula for allocating a Medicaid funding increase to states. 65% of the funding would be doled out on an across-the-board, flat rate basis to each state, while 35% would be distributed based on increases in unemployment. Originally, the House had used a 50-50 formula, while the Senate preferred an 80-20 split.
- Adopted the House’s higher 65% subsidy for COBRA (the Senate had a 50% subsidy) but agreed in turn to drop its proposal to increase Medicaid coverage to help lower income individuals face the same insurance dilemma and can’t afford to pay even a subsidized COBRA payment.
The House will vote on the compromise on Thursday, and the Senate on Friday.
Some are reporting that the COBRA subsidy is at 60%. From Health Access WeBlog:
On COBRA, there appears to be $21.4 billion, for eligible workers to help with 60% of the premium for COBRA for 9 months. Income eligibility would be capped at $125,000 (single) and $250,000 (couple).