EUC Expires, But We’re Still Paying for Long-term Unemployed

EUC Expires, But We’re Still Paying for Long-term Unemployed

It’s getting more and more likely that the EUC for the long-term unemployed won’t be renewed after all. At least not for now. The “99 week” extension of unemployment benefits was not included in the budget deal recently announced by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray. But that’s not to say there won’t be any reversals. The budget deal still has to go through the gauntlet and some Democrats are optimistic that it’ll just be taken care of next year, according to AP. HOWEVER, that federal budget deal? It’s not really much of a budget when it’s going over the previous cap of $967 billion. Paul’s not happy, and he’s not alone.

 “I cannot support a budget that never balances nor can I support a deal that does nothing to reduce our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt,” Paul said. (Daily Caller)

Well, they only have until Friday the 13th to fix it. …Are you feeling optimistic?

But back on topic, I bring up the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program because Casey B. Mulligan of The New York Times brought up an interesting point back in Nov. Even if the EUC expires, the Affordable Care Act, ahem, Obamacare will replace it. Yup, that bundle of mess and fun.

Most people have jobs that provide health insurance and will be ineligible for premium subsidies for as long as they work. But as soon as they are fired, quit, retire or otherwise leave the payroll, they will be eligible for monthly assistance to pay for their health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

[And get this:] “The new assistance will average about $110 a week, tax free (unlike unemployment benefits, which are taxable). Moreover, the premium assistance is not limited to 26 weeks; it can last for decades.”

Oh boy. So, yes, Mulligan agrees that the EUC should expire but new assistance for the long-term unemployed might be provided for by everyone’s love and honey, Obamacare — And this is not for 26 weeks (or even 99 weeks), not even a set number of years, this could stretch into decades the way the provision is set up. It’s a drop from $300 to $110 so it’s not exactly big bucks, but it’s for decades. Mulligan revealed a new side to the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits that I’ll have to look into further. How do you feel about this? Comment below!

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