Maloney Hails Extension of Unemployment, Health Coverage

Apr 16, 2010
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) hailed the final passage yesterday of H.R. 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010, legislation that extends unemployment and health insurance coverage for Americans who are out of work. The bill extends for two months provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provide for increases in the duration and amount of unemployment insurance benefits, and continues a 65% federal subsidy for COBRA health insurance premiums for people who are between jobs. President Obama signed the bill into law last night.

“Our economy is headed in the right direction, but millions of Americans are out of work due to the recession and need a little more help to make it through these tough times,” said Rep. Maloney. “Extending unemployment benefits helps families and gets money back into the economy quickly. While the passage of this bill is a victory for struggling families, putting Americans back to work remains the top priority of this Congress.”

The bill extends an array of programs in addition to unemployment and COBRA insurance coverage – more details can be found below.

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The following programs are being extended:

Unemployment Insurance: Extends unemployment benefits retroactively, including the increased payouts and longer duration of benefits from the Recovery Act, through June 2.
Help with Health Insurance for Unemployed Workers (COBRA): Extends eligibility for the COBRA health insurance 65% subsidy for people who have lost their jobs through May 31 and provides transition relief for individuals who lost their jobs between March 31, 2010 and the date of enactment.

Medicare Physician Payments: Extends current Medicare payment rates for physicians (preventing a 21% payment reduction) through May 31.

Flood Insurance: Extends the National Flood Insurance Program authorization through May 31.

Satellite Television: Extends the compulsory copyright license used by satellite television providers through May 31.

Small Business Loans: Extends two temporary improvements to the Small Business Administration’s loan guarantee program, raising the percentage of loan amounts that the SBA can guarantee and allowing SBA to waive or reduce loan fees through May 31.
Compensation for Furloughed Employees: Provides compensation for federal employees furloughed during March 1st and 2nd as the result of the lapse in expenditure authority from the Highway Trust Fund.

Poverty Guidelines: Extends current provision maintaining 2009 poverty guidelines through May 31 (to prevent a lowering of the poverty line due to deflation in 2009).

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