The Labor Department determined it doesn’t have the legal authority to stop states from opting out of federal unemployment programs early, according to an agency official. The programs have offered unemployment benefits to millions of people since the early days of the Covid pandemic. The American Rescue Plan extended them to Sept. 6. Twenty-five states, all led by Republican governors, are withdrawing early. The earliest are doing so effective Saturday, June 12.
sciencemag.org (06.11.2020) Telemedicine comes in many shapes and sizes and offers many advantages over the traditional healthcare visit, but until recently, it was largely underutilized. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed that—only time will tell if telemedicine’s new popularity will last. On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, radically changing the way medicine is practiced.
Immediately before the pandemic, 300 enterprise Mayo Clinic physicians and advanced practice providers had performed a minimum of one video telemedicine consult in the preceding year. By July 15, 2020, the number of Mayo Clinic providers performing video telemedicine consults had risen to >6,500, reflecting a 2,000% increase. Through this pandemic, we have witnessed unprecedented growth in telemedicine utilization. The existing telemedicine system has proven to be scalable.
Bloomberg (28.04.2021) President Joe Biden will unveil on Wednesday a sweeping $1.8 trillion plan to expand educational opportunities and child care for families, funded in part by the largest tax increases on wealthy Americans in decades -- the centerpiece of his first address to a joint session of Congress. Called the American Families Plan, Biden’s third major legislative proposal combines $1 trillion in spending with $800 billion in tax cuts and credits for middle- and lower-income families.
The U.S. Senate approved a Republican measure setting federal unemployment benefits for those made jobless by the coronavirus pandemic at $300 per week, as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
Development Pathways (11.03.2021) As part of recent COVID-19-related legislation, the US Government has committed to provide a quasi-universal child benefit (an affluence-tested “qUCB”) – a monthly child cash benefit where, like in Iceland, only the very wealthiest families will not receive the full amount. This child benefit – which transforms the existing Child Tax Credit (CTC) to pay up to USD 300 per month per child under 6, and USD 250 per child aged 6 to 17 – is likely to have a positive impact far beyond the family budget.
Buying insurance through the government program known as COBRA would temporarily become a lot cheaper. COBRA, for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, generally lets someone who loses a job buy coverage via the former employer. But it’s expensive: Under normal circumstances, a person may have to pay at least 102 percent of the cost of the premium. Under the relief bill, the government would pay the entire COBRA premium from April 1 through Sept. 30. A person who qualified for new, employer-based health insurance someplace else before Sept.
AFP (11.03.2021) With the massive $1.9 trillion US stimulus plan approved by Congress on Wednesday, President Joe Biden is marking a dramatic shift in US social policy, with the goal of cutting child poverty in half. "The American Rescue Plan represents a powerful change in social policy in the United States," said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy. After the economy sustained deep damage from the Covid-19 pandemic, the rescue package aims to boost US growth this year, with some economists predicting an expansion of as much as seven percent.
US Stimulus Bill: The stimulus payments would be $1,400 for most recipients. Those who are eligible would also receive an identical payment for each of their children. To qualify for the full $1,400, a single person would need an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or below. For heads of household, adjusted gross income would need to be $112,500 or below, and for married couples filing jointly that number would need to be $150,000 or below.
The Washington Post (10.03.2021) President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which the House passed Wednesday and Biden is expected to sign this week, is mammoth in scope — a number so large it can be hard to conceptualize in concrete terms. But amid a pandemic that has wrought severe economic damage around the world, many governments have made dramatic spending pledges.