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The Bush Administration's Health Proposals in the Economic Stimulus Package

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Publication Date: October 2001

Publisher(s): Families USA

Topic: Health (Health services for the uninsured)

Type: Brief

Abstract:

On October 4, 2001, President Bush outlined key elements of his proposed economic stimulus package, including a provision to help newly unemployed workers maintain health coverage. The health portion of his proposal has two elements. First, $11 billion allocated to the states for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will be made available to cover newly unemployed workers. Second, $3 billion will be made available to the states in National Emergency Grants; those grants can be used for a number of purposes, including the partial subsidization of COBRA coverage.

The President's proposal provides no new funds for health care coverage for people who lose jobs. The $11 billion consists of funds that have already been allocated to the states for uninsured children in low wage working families. In effect, the President's proposal authorizes the states to transfer the use of those funds from low-income children to newly unemployed adults, thereby reducing health coverage for needy children. Similarly, the $3 billion for the National Emergency Grant program was already appropriated as part of the $40 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill signed by the President on September 18, 2001.