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Obama’s Stimulus To Extend Unemployment, Health Benefits

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Looks like the first part of Obama’s plan will be making sure that most Americans just stay afloat.

From NY Times:

One proposal, as described by Democratic advisers, would extend unemployment compensation to part-time workers, an idea that Congressional Republicans have blocked in the past.

Other policy changes would subsidize employers’ expenses for temporarily continuing health insurance coverage to laid-off and retired workers and their dependents, as mandated under a 22-year-old federal law known as Cobra, and allow workers who lose jobs that did not come with insurance benefits to be eligible, for the first time, to apply for Medicaid coverage.

The proposals indicate the sorts of potentially long-range changes that Mr. Obama intends to push in his promised American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, as he named it in his weekly Saturday address on the radio and YouTube. They will be combined with one-time measures that are more typical of federal stimulus packages to jump-start a weak economy, like spending for roads and other job-creating public works projects.

You should also expect a new tax cut if you’re in the bottom 95% of income earners…

Rather than propose a one-time tax rebate for all but the most affluent Americans, Mr. Obama is likely to propose what he called during his campaign a “Making Work Pay” tax credit of $500 for eligible individuals and $1,000 for couples. Those who earn too little to pay federal income taxes would receive the credit in the form of a check, intended to offset the payroll taxes they pay for Social Security and Medicare.

Total cost of the package so far is coming in north of $775 billion.

More as it develops…