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Report on COBRA confirms what we already knew

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It's too expensive. COBRA has never made much sense to me because if you have just lost your job, how are you going to find enough money for insurance? Where do you find a spare $1000+ per month to insure a family when you don't have a job? Sure, having easy access to health insurance is great but the costs - especially today - are well out of reach.

The cost of buying health insurance for unemployed Americans who try to purchase coverage through a former employer consumes 30 percent to 84 percent of standard unemployment benefits, according to a report released yesterday.

Because few people can afford that, the authors say, the result is a growing number of people being hit with the double whammy of no job and no health coverage.

In 1985, Congress passed legislation enabling newly unemployed Americans to extend their employer-based health insurance for up to 18 months. But under the program, known as COBRA, the individual must pay 102 percent of the policy's full cost.
Instead of cash handouts and yet another round of business tax deductions, solving problems like this ought to be considered first. It would be nice to think that our next President who ran on a campaign of change would actually target change instead of the same old, same old. Is that really asking for too much?

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