With just a few days left until the inauguration of President Barack Obama, he and his Democratic colleagues in Congress are floating three big proposals to get the reaction of employers, workers and unions. Here’s what’s shown up in the Washington radar screen and in recovery-package proposals:
- Expanded unemployment compensation. The main target: compensation to part-time workers who get laid off. Previous similar proposals got shot down by Congressional Republicans.
- Employer subsidies for COBRA benefits. The government would cover employers’ expenses for temporarily continuing health insurance coverage to laid-off and retired workers and their dependents.
- Expanded Medicaid coverage. Workers who lose jobs that came with no insurance benefits would be eligible to apply for Medicaid coverage.
Obama has said those changes would be long-term ones, and not part of a temporary stimulus package, which contains other short-term proposals. Before the inauguration, Obama plans to meet with Congressional leaders from both sides to get their reaction to the ideas.