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On The Hill: Momentum Builds for House Action on COVID-19

House Democratic leaders Tuesday introduced a fifth COVID-19 emergency funding bill, The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The House is expected to vote on the measure as early as Friday. America’s Essential Hospitals is analyzing the legislation and will release a more detailed summary in the coming days.

America’s Essential Hospitals continues to advocate for additional aid to front-line providers as they prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Senate resumed legislative activities last week with several hearings related to COVID-19 and advancing administration and judicial nominees. This week, senators are expected to continue these activities and return to normal business.

Bipartisan Letter Urges HHS to Target Relief Funding to Essential Providers

As part of ongoing advocacy efforts, the association is calling on member hospitals to ask their representatives to sign a bipartisan letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to target a portion of remaining COVID-19 emergency funds toward essential providers.

The letter, led by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Pete Olson (R-TX), specifically highlights the importance of distributing this funding to health care providers — including essential hospitals — seeing disproportionate numbers of Medicaid and low-income patients during the pandemic.

The extended deadline to sign on to the letter is close of business Wednesday, May 13. Please contact your House members immediately and urge them to sign the Butterfield-Olson letter.

Notable COVID-19 Hearings

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a May 12 hearing, at 10 am ET, on safely returning to work and school. Panelists will include Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Robert Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, HHS assistant secretary for health; and Stephen Hahn, MD, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and three of the administration panelists will all participate in the hearing via videoconference; all are self-quarantining after potential exposure to COVID-19.

Additionally, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a May 14 hearing, at 10 am ET, on the scientific integrity of the COVID-19 response.

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will hold a May 12 hearing, at 2:30 pm ET, to examine liability concerns during the COVID-19 public heath emergency.

Upcoming Association Webinar

America’s Essential Hospitals will host a May 13 webinar, at 2 pm ET, to educate members on effective leadership amid a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Webinars are open to all association members.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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