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President Signs Interim Emergency Funding Bill

The president has signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) to increase federal support for COVID-19 relief initiatives included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The bipartisan legislation, approved by Congress during emergency sessions last week, provides $484 billion in additional resources across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Small Business Administration.

It allocates $75 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for providers, in addition to the $100 billion included for the fund in the CARES Act. The additional funding will be subject to the same terms.

In addition, H.R. 266 provides more funding for COVID-19 testing and small businesses, including: 

  • $350 billon for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and nonprofit organizations; 
  • $25 billion to expand capacity for COVID-19 tests, including up to $1 billion for testing of uninsured individuals; 
  • $11 billion for state and local COVID-19 testing plans; and
  • $10 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

To address health equity, the legislation requires HHS to report data related to COVID-19 testing, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. These data must be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, age, sex, and geographic location, among other factors. 

Congress is expected to continue work on additional legislation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact Vice President of Legislative Affairs Carlos Jackson at cjackson@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0112 with questions.

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About the Author

Margaret Peterson is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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