WASHINGTON – More than 7 million poor people who are elderly, blind or disabled and receive cash benefits averaging $477 a month could get an extra monthly payment as part of President-elect Barack Obama's $800 billion economic recovery plan.
Democratic congressional aides said the idea of an extra Supplemental Security Income payment is gaining traction on Capitol Hill as lawmakers and staff aides hold daily meetings to work out details of the upcoming stimulus bill. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door negotiations.
Democratic lawmakers hope to have an economic stimulus bill ready for Obama's signature by mid-February, although officials indicated Monday night that numerous provisions are unsettled.
Several said the emerging legislation likely will provide at least $70 billion over the next two years to help states meet the demand for Medicaid, which provides health care for low income people, and another $25 billion more to help individuals who cannot afford to pay for private, post-employment health benefits.
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