New Jobs Bill Jettisons COBRA, Just As Unemployment Rises

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Hmmm, did I forget something? Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The $26 billion jobs bill was passed yesterday after Democrats added $10 billion in aid for teachers' salaries. But it failed to include COBRA subsidies, once "a Democratic health-care priority." COBRA was designed to help people stay on their company health plan for eighteen months after they leave their place of employment (either by choice or because of layoffs). The subsidy, which covers 65 percent of the cost for employees who left involuntarily, was authorized in last year's stimulus bill, and has been extended three times through the end of May. Since then, workers have had to pay the full, often cost-prohibitive, monthly premium. NPR says it's unlikely to come back in the fall, either. By now, maybe hearing 9.5 percent unemployment fails to make an impact. But did no one forward Obama the terrifying jobs chart?

Democrats Extend Medicaid Subsidy, But Miss Out On COBRA [NPR]