WebMD News Brief

Lawmakers Reach Deal on Coronavirus Relief Package

photo of virus hospital mask white

March 25, 2020 -- Senate leaders and the White House have reached agreement on a $2 trillion relief package to boost a U.S. economy reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, congressional leaders said early Wednesday.

Details haven’t been officially released, but the plan reportedly includes $150 billion to shore up the country's struggling health care system. The largest chunk of that money -- about $100 billion -- will go to hospitals and other medical centers.

The relief package also includes billions of dollars to pay for medical equipment, including protective gear for health care workers, ventilators, and supplies for COVID-19 tests.

The plan reportedly includes more funds for Medicare for COVID-19 treatment. And money in the package is also set aside for building new facilities for patients.

Besides help for the U.S. medical system, the package includes relief for companies and workers hit hard by the pandemic. The plan calls for direct payments of up to $1,200 for Americans who earn up to $75,000 a year. Unemployment benefits will be increased.

About $500 billion will be set aside for loans to struggling companies and small businesses.

Senators and congressmen are getting briefed on the details of the package today. The Senate and House must approve the bill, and President Trump needs to sign it, before it becomes law.