Responding to calls for Washington to take swift action in the face of the bleakest economy in decades, the House of Representatives released a $825 billion package last week designed to stimulate the economy. The early version of the plan targets nearly $150 billion for health care.
The Wall Street Journal has a reasonably thorough overview of the "winners" and "losers," as well as an explanation of the at times arcane budgetary process involved. "The plan’s final shape will depend not only on horse-trading among
lawmakers in the House and Senate, but also on the outcome of the
lobbying frenzy now under way," the Journal says.
Here’s an early breakdown of the health care package:
- $39 billion in subsidies to health insurance for the unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
- $90 billion to shore up state Medicaid programs
- $20 billion for health-information technology systems
- $4 billion for preventative care
It’s worth noting that those numbers don’t include the expansion of SCHIP the House approved earlier in the week.
Around the Web: If you want to track exactly where all the money is going – probably not a bad idea when you’re talking about $825 billion plus change- you’ll theoretically be able to follow spending on Recovery. gov. But for the time being you’ll have to wait. The site is not yet online – perhaps not the best sign.
John Irvine contributed to this report from Washington D.C.