There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (12/03/2001)

Putting Americans First Act - Sets forth provisions for a temporary unemployment compensation (UC) program. Permits any State to enter into and participate in an agreement with the Secretary of Labor for such program under which States receive Federal payments and State agencies pay: (1) modified regular UC to individuals; and (2) temporary supplemental UC to individuals who have otherwise exhausted their rights to regular UC or have received 26 weeks of regular UC. Requires the modified regular UC to: (1) have an alternative base period; (2) not be denied to individuals who can show good cause for seeking or being available for only part-time employment; and (3) include increased benefits. Requires temporary supplemental UC accounts for eligible individuals who file applications for such UC. Limits such agreements to weeks of unemployment: (1) beginning after the date on which such agreement is entered into; and (2) ending before January 1, 2003.

Sets forth health insurance coverage options for recently unemployed individuals and their families. Requires establishment of a temporary program under which 75 percent of the premium for COBRA continuation coverage for Medicaid be provided for an individual who: (1) at any time during the period that begins on September 11, 2001, and ends on December 31, 2002, is separated from employment; and (2) is eligible for, and has elected coverage under, COBRA continuation coverage. (COBRA refers to title X of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, and concerns employee group health plan coverage under specified provisions of the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of1974.) Permits a State to elect to provide temporary Medicaid coverage (under title XIX of the Social Security Act) for individuals who: (1) are separated from employment at any time during the period that from September 11, 2001, through December 31, 2002; (2) are not eligible for COBRA continuation coverage; (3) are uninsured; and (4) do not have assets, resources, and earned or unearned income that exceed limitations set by the State.

Permits a State to pay the entire COBRA premium for individuals whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line and who are receiving COBRA premium assistance under this Act. Provides for temporary increases in the Medicaid Federal Medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for FY 2002.

Amends the Social Security Act title IV part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) to: (1) reauthorize TANF supplemental grants for population increases for FY 2002; and (2) extend and increase TANF contingency fund grants through FY 2002.