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COST: More Perspectives on COBRA's Role in Getting Us Through Crisis

January 12, 2009 - 10:15am

Our colleague Paul Testa blogged last week on the rising number of unemployed (and uninsured) and about the potential impact of COBRA subsidies in the stimulus bill to make job-related insurance more affordable for people who lose their jobs. Others have been writing along similar veins in the past few days, so if you want to learn more, here's more on the high cost of COBRA from the Washington Post, a short story by the AP and an open discussion on the National Journal health experts blog addressing whether COBRA subsidies or Medicaid expansion is the best bet to get us through the economic crisis. (We tend to think we need lots of short-term options to help people while we work on more permanent solutions.) So far only one comment on that blog by Families USA executive director Ron Pollack, who calls COBRA "great in theory but lousy in reality." Keep an eye on the National Journal discussion, it probably will get more lively.

If you want to learn more about the pressures on Medicaid right now, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured held a recent briefing. You can see a webcast and find a useful summary PowerPoint here. A transcript will be on the Alliance and Kaiser websites soon.