90% the same, but…

Pro Publica has a good chart showing the dollar-figure differences between the House and Senate versions of the economic recovery package. You can see some of the differences in health care aid, and in aid to states.

It’s useful, although it doesn’t detail the policy differences, just the totals. So, for example, you can’t tell that the COBRA subsidies in the House version come with some changes for older workers can stay on COBRA coverage longers, until they reach Medicare age. Or that Senate version would provide a 50% subsidy for COBRA, rather than the Senate’s 65% subsidy. (I blogged more about the need for help people keep group coverage at The Treatment.)

And while the dollar figures look very similar for Medicaid matching funds, there is real difference in how the money in allocated: the House version targets the money more to states with particularly high unemployment rates. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, California would get over $1.4 billion more in the House version that the Senate.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has lots of good analyses on heir website, including a discussion of the temporary Medicaid expansion for newly unemployed workers that is in the House–but not the Senate–version. A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows how this Medicaid expansion is needed–not just the COBRA subsidies, given how many people would still be left out or priced out.

Frank Davies of the San Jose Mercury News has more about the differences in the House and Senate version.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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