Urge Congress to Include Hospitals in COVID-19 Legislation

June 17, 2020

Congress is working on the next COVID-19 relief legislation. While timing of the next package may stretch into July, it is important to reach out to U.S. Representatives and Senators now to ensure urgent hospital priorities are included in the next bill. IHA members are urged to contact their members of Congress (to send email messages, click here) and urge them to support important policies in the next COVID-19 legislation, including:

  • Additional Resources for Hospitals. Congress should direct additional, direct relief funds to hospitals, which are not only coping with a public health crisis, but also a financial crisis.   
  • Limited Liability Protections. Congress should safeguard frontline providers from legal action by implementing a limited waiver of liability for hospitals and healthcare professionals during the nationally designated COVID-19 emergency.   
  • Improvements to the Medicare Accelerated/Advance Payment Program. Congress should consider loan forgiveness and, at a minimum, take action to significantly improve the repayment requirements.            
  • Expanded Health Coverage. Congress should subsidize COBRA costs; open a special enrollment period for marketplace coverage; and increase eligibility for federal marketplace subsidies.   
  • Federal Support for Healthcare Heroes. Congress should provide additional resources to front-line caregivers and essential workers, such as support for child care, housing, transportation and bonus pay.    
  • Extend and Increase FMAP. Congress should extend and boost the 6.25% FMAP increase while hospitals are under extreme financial pressure.

For more information, see IHA’s advocacy alert. See also the full list of IHA’s COVID-19 legislative priorities here and IHA’s May 11 letter to the Illinois Congressional delegation outlining hospital and health system priorities here. For an infographic illustrating why Illinois hospitals need additional federal resources, click here.