There’s help, and there’s help. The two economic recovery bills that passed by the House and Senate both provide significant help for health in California… but is it enough? The need is great, especially with our sky-high 9.3% unemployment rate and a corresponding rising uninsured rate.
With regard to federal matching funds, Evan Halper and Richard Simon at the Los Angeles Times report that the House version would provide $1.5 billion more to California, because the formula takes into account a state’s economic climate. The Senate version largely does not, and reflects the inequity of the standard funding formula, where California gets the lowest possible matching rate.
There’s another difference that Californians also should care about: Both the Senate and House versions include some subsidies for COBRA for the umemployed, but only the House version has a temporary Medicaid expansion for the unemployed. That would be a big boon to California, given our unemployment rate.
Californians will make a big effort to see if the House version prevails.