Mar 10, 2010 4:47 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
The Senate has passed legislation to give months of continued jobless checks to people who have been out of work for more than half a year and help the unemployed pay for health insurance.
The jobless aid accompanies a host of other provisions that would prevent doctors from absorbing cuts to Medicare payments and help financially strapped states cope with spiraling Medicaid bills.
The 62-36 vote Wednesday sends the measure into talks with the House, which passed companion legislation last year but is wary about some Senate provisions included to defray its impact on the deficit.
The bill also extends a variety of tax breaks for businesses and individuals that are popular with senators in both parties.