Boy, if Obama manages to pull this off despite the inevitable Republican opposition (and that of the Democratic Blue Dog caucus), it will make a huge difference to the unemployed. I've been paying $500 a month for COBRA coverage since I was laid off last year and I can afford maybe two more months before the money runs out:
CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are considering major expansions of government-assisted health care insurance and unemployment compensation as they begin intensive work this week on a two-year economic recovery package.
One proposal, as described by Democratic advisers, would extend unemployment compensation to part-time workers, an idea that Congressional Republicans have blocked in the past.
Other policy changes would subsidize employers’ expenses for temporarily continuing health insurance coverage to laid-off and retired workers and their dependents, as mandated under a 22-year-old federal law known as Cobra, and allow workers who lose jobs that did not come with insurance benefits to be eligible, for the first time, to apply for Medicaid coverage.