Senate Fails Again on COVID-19 Package

March 23, 2020

For a second time in less than 24-hours, a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate failed.

The U.S. Senate continues negotiations on a third legislative package to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The approximately $1.5 trillion CARES Act (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) is expected to include several critical provisions for hospitals and health systems, as well as support for families, workers and businesses.

Earlier today, Senate Democrats blocked the procedural vote required to consider the legislation, with many saying more transparency is needed on which businesses would be eligible to receive hundreds of billions in emergency loans. Negotiations are ongoing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to introduce legislation today which, according to a summary, includes $100 billion for hospitals to reimburse healthcare related expenses or lost revenue; $1.6 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies; a delay in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts; temporary suspension of Medicare sequester cuts, and numerous other provisions.

IHA has called on federal lawmakers to make funds immediately and directly available to hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients, protect and support the healthcare workers, access critical supplies and equipment, and scale up to meet surge capacity. See IHA's recent Advocacy Alert.