URGENT: Call Your Senators NOW

by Karoli on February 6, 2009 · 0 comments

in News, Patients

Please take a minute to call your Senators today.

As I was researching a post to explain why the COBRA provisions contained in the House version of the economic stimulus bill are so critical to economic recovery, I discovered that the Senate version of the bill does not have any provisions for subsidizing COBRA benefits to terminated and laid-off employees.

The COBRA subsidies are, in my opinion, one of the key parts of any recovery. Here’s why:

  • Companies are laying off more and more workers, and those workers cannot or will not be able to afford to continue their health insurance at the COBRA rates. This means we will add 3-5 Million more to the ranks of the uninsured, placing a much larger burden on our economy than we have now.
  • Those who do manage to opt for COBRA benefits are likely to be those with chronic illness who absolutely must have health insurance coverage, resulting in adverse selection for the health insurers and companies maintaining the COBRA benefits. Down the line, this will mean higher and higher costs for everyone.
  • Laid-off workers who are uninsured run the risk of bankruptcy and foreclosure if any medical catastrophe should hit, exacerbating the issues already rampant with regard to mortgages and housing.

The COBRA subsidies should not be optional or negotiable. The fact that they are not even contained in the Senate bill is disturbing and of great concern.

Here is a link to a tool to email your representatives. Please call your Senator today and urge them to include the COBRA subsidies in the final compromise bill.

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