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April 01, 2020 (Cleveland)

Coordinated COVID-19 Advocacy Efforts Succeed in Securing Funding for Hospitals

COVID-19 Advocacy EffortsThe federal economic stimulus package that passed Congress and was signed into law last week, dubbed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act, included substantial relief for hospitals. The final bill was the result of coordinated COVID-19 advocacy efforts by hospital and other healthcare advocacy organizations at all levels, spearheaded by the American Hospital Association.

The Center for Health Affairs weighed in on the bill, the third federal legislative package passed in response to the novel coronavirus, encouraging Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as the seven U.S. House members representing Northeast Ohio hospitals, to support the requested $100 billion appropriation for hospitals. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-14) co-led a Dear Colleague letter, also signed by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-16), urging leadership to support the $100 billion request, which was included in the final legislation. 

The Center had also weighed in on a bill enacted earlier in the month, the second coronavirus-related bill to pass Congress, encouraging U.S. House members representing Northeast Ohio to remove a problematic provision. Language initially included called for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require healthcare sector employers to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan for COVID-19 with the level of infection control precautions set to at least the level of SARS from 2007. That provision, which was removed from the bill prior to passage, would have been disastrous for hospitals and other providers due to the severe shortage of N95 respirators.

There are indications a fourth federal coronavirus-related bill could emerge. The hospital advocacy community will continue to work closely with policymakers to ensure they understand the needs of providers, who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

For more on The Center’s COVID-19 advocacy efforts, contact us.

TWEETABLE: The Center takes part in coordinated COVID-19 advocacy efforts on behalf of member hospitals.