Mental Health Notes Etc.
Jan. 22nd 2009
Last week the House released its draft language for an economic stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [ARRA or HR 598], which would invest $825 billion in the economy. The Senate has yet to release its language.
The ARRA will extend Medicaid eligibility to newly unemployed Americans, maintain the availability of COBRA coverage, and provide a 4.9% increase to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage [FMAP] between October 1, 2008 and December 31st, with even higher FMAP increases for states with higher unemployment rates.
Congressional leaders have indicated their desire to have the State Children’s Insurance Plan [SCHIP] bill on president Obama’s desk by the end of the week. The House has passed HR2 and sent it to the Senate. The Senate has placed the House version on the legislative calendar and has also been working on its own version of SCHIP [S275]. S275 was passed by the Finance Committee and sent to the full Senate for consideration.
The Senate took swift action on Tuesday after officially receiving President Obama’s Cabinet nominations. The Senate confirmed seven nominations including Peter Orszag for Director of the Office of Budget and Management who is expected to play a key role in healthcare reform.