Stimulus money used to pay for Medicaid benefits

08/05/09 7:04AM By Steve Zind

(Host) Vermont has received about $100 million in federal stimulus money so far.  Much of it has been used to pay for Medicaid benefits.

Tom Evslin heads the Vermont Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery. 

Evslin says that an increasing share of stimulus money is now being devoted to transportation projects.  Evslin says at this point, it's difficult to tell how much impact the money has had on creating or preserving jobs.

(Evslin) "You know it's hard to say that jobs are created during a time when jobs are being lost.  There are people working on those projects who wouldn't be working if the projects didn't exist.  We don't have good numbers yet.  We will in October about how many jobs that is. Would they have been working on another project?  Would they have been laid off? Is this a job saved or a job that's created?  What about the jobs of the person who made the products that went into the project.  It's a tough calculation, certainly more people have worked than would have worked if those projects weren't happening."

(Host) Evslin says in addition to transportation projects, stimulus money is being used to bolster unemployment insurance benefits for Vermonters, fund low income home weatherization and other projects.

Ultimately Vermont is expecting to receive more than $700 million in federal stimulus money. 

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