March 30, 2020 - President Donald Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package after the U.S. House voted Friday to approve it.
The bill includes direct payments to taxpayers of up to $1,200 per person and $500 for each child, with income limits deciding the amounts. It also includes nearly $400 billion to help small businesses, $250 billion to increase unemployment compensation, and hundreds of billions more for large corporations.
The bill also provides relief for the beleaguered U.S. health care system. According to the American Hospital Association, the bill:
- Provides almost $127 billion to reimburse hospitals for coronavirus expenses, develop vaccines, and purchase supplies, among other things.
- Creates an extra 20% Medicare payment to rural and urban inpatient hospitals with coronavirus patients.
- Eliminates $8 billion in planned Medicaid cuts through the rest of this fiscal year, which ends Oct. 1, and for fiscal year 2021.
- Aims to improve the supply chain for masks and drugs, among other items.
- Should expand coverage for coronavirus testing and services.
- Allows states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to extend coverage to uninsured Americans who would have been covered had expansion occurred.
- Expands telehealth access in rural areas.