Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The good in the stimulus plan: more health care

The New York Times reports tonight on something not mentioned before in media coverage that makes the economic stimulus plan more of a positive for all the hurting across the nation.

More health care.

The Times reports:

With little notice and no public hearings, House Democrats would create a temporary new entitlement allowing workers getting unemployment checks to qualify for Medicaid, the health program for low-income people. Spouses and children could also receive benefits, no matter how much money the family had.

In addition, the stimulus package would offer a hefty subsidy to help laid-off workers retain the same health plans they had from their former employers.

Altogether, the economic recovery bill would speed $127 billion over the next two and a half years to individuals and states for health care alone, a fact that has Republicans fuming that the stimulus package is a back door to universal health coverage.

I hope it is. Universal health care coverage is a must or our hospitals are going to go out of business. Preventative care is the only thing to keep down insurance premiums for the rest of us. The moral argument has not seemed to convince America, or even President Obama. His campaign plan did not provide universal care.

Ultimately, the bill to be voted on tomorrow in the House will have to go to conference committee. There, added health care should be preserved above all other else.

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