On March 6, 2020 the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-123), passed with near unanimous support in both the House and Senate and was signed into law by the President. The bill provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Key highlights are below. Full details on funding can be found by clicking here.
- The majority ($6.2 billion) is for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including:
- $3.4 billion for the Office of the Secretary – Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), which includes more than $2 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) (for the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics), $300 million in contingency funding for the purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to be used if deemed necessary by the Secretary of HHS, and $100 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for grants under the Health Center Program, which aims to improve health care to people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable.
- $1.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which includes $950 million for state and local response efforts, of which $475 million must be allocated within 30 days of the enactment of the bill, and $300 million for the replenishment of the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which supports U.S. efforts to respond to an infectious disease emergency.
- $836 million for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which conducts research on therapies, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health technologies, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- $61 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the development and review of vaccines, therapeutics, medical devices and countermeasures, address potential supply chain interruptions, and support enforcement of counterfeit products.
- $20 million is for the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans program to support SBA’s administration of loan subsidies that will be made available to entities financially impacted as a result of the coronavirus.
- The bill also includes a waiver removing restrictions on Medicare providers allowing them to offer telehealth services to beneficiaries regardless of whether the beneficiary is in a rural community, at an estimated cost of $500 million.