So what else is in the Unemployment extension bill?

I have written many times on why unemployment is lasting so long -- we have incredibly long lasting unemployment benefits. Benefits that last about three times longer than in the past. The next piece is from the New York Times which is upset with Democrats for not letting the unemployment insurance extension be passed.

Since June 1, when federal unemployment benefits began to expire, an estimated 325,000 jobless workers have been cut off. That number will swell to 1.25 million by the end of the month unless Congress extends the benefits. The Senate, so far, has failed to act.

Some senators, including Democrats, have balked at an unrelated provision that would begin to close a tax loophole enjoyed by some of the richest Americans. You heard right. Desperately needed unemployment benefits have been held hostage to a tax break for the rich, and the Senate’s Democratic leadership has had to delay and finagle to get its own caucus in line.

State-provided unemployment benefits generally last for 26 weeks, and the federal government picks up the tab after that, provided Congress approves the extensions. There is no disagreement over the need: 46 percent of the nation’s 15 million jobless workers have been unemployed for more than six months — a higher level than at any time since the government began keeping track in 1948. . . .

Fox News notes that there is a good chance of failure on getting this thing passed, but they also note about the other provisions that are in the bill. Among them provisions to offset the cost savings just passed in the Obama health care bill that was supposed to cut the deficit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, set Wednesday as showdown day with Republicans and some members of his own party, over a $141 billion "extenders" bill.
A pretty boring-sounding name for a bill, but it has crucial extensions of tax credits, unemployment insurance benefits, and other key items in it.
It also contains a critical payment update for doctors and other providers who treat Medicare patients, so that they don't get hit with a whopping 21% cut in their federal reimbursements. Congress usually always "fixes" this cut that comes from a funding formula set up years ago. Many want to fix this problem, but it's costly -- and members never can seem to agree on how or whether or not to pay for a permanent fix.
Anyone who knows a senior on Medicare likely has heard nightmare stories of them having a terrible time even finding a doctor who will treat them, and this delay will, no doubt, cause more heart burn in an industry that is already service-averse. . . .



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