Senate Votes to Extend Unemployment and Cobra Subsidies

The Senate voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would, among other things, extend jobless benefits through the end of 2010. In a 62-36 vote, the Senate approved a $150 billion bill that provides an extension of tax benefits targeting businesses and individuals.

In particular, this bill extends the federal Cobra subsidy of 65% through the end of the year and extends some unemployment benefits as well.

Either the House will accept the current Senate version the bill or they will have to meet to reconcile the different versions before it can go to the President for signature.

A previous article just before Christmas described an extension that President Obama signed that extended the Cobra subsidy by 6 months. However, as the unemployment rate still hovers just below 10%, many unemployed workers were facing huge increases in their health care coverage once the subsidy expired.

This bill will keep the subsidy in place until the end of 2010.

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