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On the Hill: House Passes Second COVID-19 Funding Bill

The House this week passed a second supplemental legislative package to address the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) would:

  • increase the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) to states by 6.2 percentage points;
  • require private group health plans and government programs to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and associated provider, emergency department, and urgent care visits;
  • extend workforce protections, including paid family and medical leave and sick leave;
  • enhance unemployment insurance; and
  • increase funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other food security programs.

This legislative package comes after both chambers previously approved legislation providing $8.3 billion in funding for COVID-19 measures, including vaccination research and development and state and local prevention, preparedness, and response efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) canceled a scheduled recess so senators could consider H.R. 6201 this week. After passing the measure, House lawmakers left Washington, D.C., for a one-week break and will return to legislative business March 24.

Public Access Restricted to Capitol

Congressional leadership last week announced public access to the Capitol grounds, including House and Senate office buildings, will be limited to authorized business to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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