Prior to leaving for Memorial Day recess, the House of Representatives jettisoned provisions from a jobs bill that would have extended a subsidy to help newly laid-off workers pay for health insurance under auspices of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
Under pressure to trim spending, House managers dropped the COBRA extension from the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010.
The legislative give and take comes as a May 31 deadline expires for recently laid-off workers to claim the subsidy. Originally passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, recipients were eligible for a 65% COBRA health insurance premium subsidy for up to 15 months.
According to the Washington Post, House leaders plan to address the lapse in COBRA extensions with a separate bill when they return to work on June 7.
The COBRA extension is not the only insurance-related program to fall victim to the vagaries of the congressional calendar. The National Flood Insurance Program expired at 12:01 a.m. today, as legislators were unable to approve an extension to the beleaguered program prior to the recess.
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