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$800 Million Fed Holiday Bonus for KY?

December 15, 2008

Frankfort, KY – An $800 million boost for Kentucky's economy is calculated in a new report, "A Painful Recession: States Cut Health Care Safety Net Programs." It uses U.S. Department of Commerce information to document how a $500 million infusion of federal cash for KCHIP and KyHealth Choices would end up being worth $800 million for the state. The $500 million for Kentucky is what Congress is considering in an economic stimulus package for the states.

Report author Ron Pollack is executive director of Families USA. He favors the stimulus package.

"It increases the number of jobs, it increases wages, and it substantially increases economic activity."

Pollack says Congressional leaders hope to have the package on President-elect Obama's desk right after his inauguration on Jan. 20. Critics of the economic stimulus package are concerned that it will increase the federal deficit and lead to higher taxes.

Pollack argues that during economic hard times, federal money is an effective way to help states.

"What we find is when new dollars come into the state, it has a very substantial effect in improving the economy."

Pollack calls the money "timely"--not just for an economic boost, but to help cover those on the lower end of the income scale who are losing their coverage at work.

Breakouts on the proposed federal money to states and the economic multiplier benefits can be found in the report at www.familiesusa.org.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - KY