COBRA

COBRA

What we commonly refer to as COBRA, short-term health insurance for the unemployed, was included in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.   It grants workers and their families the option to keep their group insurance health benefits for up to 18 months (although the exact time may vary depending on a number of factors). COBRA enables a worker to purchase health insurance through their ex-employer, if they are subject to a “qualifying event”, even though they no longer work there. A qualifying event includes the end of employment for any reason other than “gross misconduct”, or a reduction in work hours (again for anything other than gross misconduct). Only employers with 20 or more workers are subject to COBRA.

Cry Wolf Quotes

All too often such well-intended Federal programs simply fuel the flames of spiraling health care cost inflation, diffuse the concentration of limited Federal dollars on the truly medically needy who must rely on Government entitlements for any medical care, and exacerbate the rising uncontrollable element in the Federal deficit which we must get under control if we are going to put people back to work—which is the real objective that would meet the problem addressed by this committee.

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Don Bliss, Esq., National Association of Manufacturers, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Let us go on the record as saying we believe that this program should be temporary. Clearly, we share with the chairman [Senator Bob Dole] the belief that the general economy is not by tomorrow going to turn upside down, and during the time in which it takes to do that, this program should be in place. But it should indeed be temporary. It should have a limited scope. Indeed, we are not in a position in this country today to institute another Cadillac-care program when it is not necessary…Certainly we do not wish to see this become another entitlement program…”

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Dr. James Sammons, of the American Medical Association, Joseph F. Boyle, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Medical Association, Executive Vice President and Harry Peterson, Director, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

…we oppose Federal financing for such programs [that provide health care for the unemployed], since Federal deficits are already at record high levels. We also oppose new entitlement programs that have the potential to become open-ended. Some proposals amount to welfare programs without appropriate means tests.

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Jan Peter Ozga, Director of Health Care, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

…the chamber remains committed to sound policies that will improve the economy and promote employment. We also remain committed to promoting the solvency of the States’ beleaguered unemployment insurance fund….First, the problem of lack of health insurance for the unemployed will abate as the economy continues to improve and unemployment is reduced. A continuation of the trend toward a reduction in taxation, regulation, and interest rates will help to achieve the dual goal of fuller employment and protection against health care costs.

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Jan Peter Ozga, Director of Health Care, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA