Lots of people angry about this at the conference this week, so imagine how mad people are everywhere else:
As the Senate debates a bill to reauthorize expired domestic aid programs, including a provision to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have introduced an amendment that would add COBRA back into the extenders bill.
“Millions of Americans have been hard hit by the recession and lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said Senator Casey in a statement Wednesday. “Unfortunately, some people in Washington want to pull up the ladder and take away help for these struggling families. Not extending COBRA premium assistance will hurt hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania and across the country and it will add further strain on our recovering economy.”
Fifteen percent of all unemployment insurance recipients rely on the reduced insurance premiums offered by COBRA, the program that allows workers to continue buying their employer-provided health coverage after they’ve been laid off.
Without the 65 percent subsidy created by the stimulus, COBRA is too expensive for many: Family premiums for COBRA coverage average $1,107 a month for unemployed families without subsidy–that’s 84.3 percent of their monthly unemployment insurance checks.