Health Care Reform for the Unemployed

Say what you will about the politics surrounding health-care reform, but the new legislation undoubtedly will boost the quality of life for the unemployed and the underemployed. In the midst of the Great Recession, that's a lot of folks: roughly 15 million Americans. "Those are precisely the type of people helped by this bill," says Linda Blumberg, a health-policy expert at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social think tank in Washington, D.C. NEWSWEEK'S Nancy Cook recently spoke with Blumberg about the specifics of the bill and what it means for the jobless, the self-employed, and small-business owners. Excerpts: