As of early April 2020, the United States Congress has passed three major pieces of legislation to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and bolster the American economy. Together, these bills inject more than $2 trillion into the economy; provide greatly expanded supplemental funding for federal, state, and local governments to combat the crisis; expand authorities for health care providers to treat patients; and much more. In the coming months, Congress is expected to consider a fourth and potentially fifth major package on COVID-19, bills that may include additional economic stimulus, infrastructure spending, and wider health care provisions.

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

  • Signed into law March 6, 2020 – Read the full text here.
  • Included more than $8 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies, state and local governments, and community health centers for the pandemic response.
  • Increased authority for the Department of Health and Human Services to expand telehealth under Medicare.
  • For a full summary of the provisions in this bill, read Powers’ memo here.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

  • Signed into law March 18, 2020 – Read the full text here.
  • Included more than $2 billion in additional appropriations, especially for nutrition assistance programs and COVID testing for uninsured patients.
  • Expanded paid family, medical, and sick leave for certain businesses and increased unemployment benefits.
  • Mandated free diagnostic testing for COVID across all payers nationwide, as well as for uninsured patients, and increased Medicaid funding.
  • For a full summary of the provisions in this bill, read Powers’ memo here.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

  • Signed into law March 27, 2020 – Read the full text here.
  • Included more than $2.2 trillion in emergency relief to address the crisis and bolster the economy.
  • Expanded health care coverage for eventual COVID vaccines, enhanced health care workforce training programs, broadened telehealth waivers, extended expiring health care program authorizations through December, and provided new flexibilities for post-acute care providers.
  • Appropriated $340 billion for public health programs at the federal and state levels, including $100 billion for hospitals and providers to address COVID expenses.
  • Authorized a $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to provide loans for small businesses to maintain their payrolls, further expanded unemployment benefits, created new tax credits for businesses impacted by COVID, and provided for direct payments to most Americans.
  • For a full summary of the provisions in this bill, read Powers’ memos on the health, education, and economic

For further questions, please contact any Powers attorney with whom you usually work. For the latest news, information, and insights on COVID-19, please visit our resource hub at https://www.powerslaw.com/covid-19/.

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