Apr 24 2020
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on new federal funding for the health care system that was included in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which has passed the Senate and House and is expected to be signed into law soon.
“Last month, Congress voted to provide $100 billion to bolster our health care system in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but it quickly became clear that more was needed. That’s why I joined my colleagues this week to provide an additional $100 billion for health care providers and testing efforts related to coronavirus.
“Importantly, these funds will also support state and local government efforts to expand testing and contact tracing. Both are essential in order to safely reopen California without creating a second, larger wave of infections.
“Coronavirus poses an unprecedented challenge to our health system and I’m prepared to continue supporting every effort to combat this pandemic.”
Health care funding now available includes:
- $25 billion to expand state and local testing efforts: to help state and local governments ramp up testing and increase contact tracing capabilities. According to public health experts, both are absolutely essential in order to successfully lift stay at home orders.
- $10 billion for “hotspots” to be distributed in the next week: for the 100 counties with the most coronavirus cases to date. Funding will be based on total ICU beds and coronavirus patient admissions for the period from January 1 to April 10.
- $10 billion in additional hotspot funding: to be distributed in the next 45 days to help hospitals cope with the increased numbers of patients they’ve faced since the pandemic began.
- $10 billion for rural health care: to aid rural hospitals that serve large geographic areas and now face an influx of patients suffering from the coronavirus.
- $400 million for tribal health care systems: to bolster the Native American health clinics that serve an aging population with higher rates of chronic illness, putting them at higher risk for coronavirus. Payments are expected to be distributed on Friday, April 24.
- $10 billion to treat the uninsured: these funds will help cover the cost of providing treatment for uninsured Americans suffering from the coronavirus. Applications will be accepted within 10 days, with payments going out within 30 days.
- $20 billion for health care providers: this comes in addition to the $30 billion already funded as part of the CARES Act and gives providers a lifeline to cover their financial losses since the pandemic began.