House Committees Advance Components of COVID-19 Relief Package

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Feb 18, 2021
A pandemic relief package could get a House floor vote by the end of the month, with House authorizing committees finishing the initial drafting efforts to turn President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal, the American Rescue Plan, into legislative text. House Democratic leaders are aiming to vote on a package during the week of February 22. 

The Senate is also expediting the relief package’s consideration process. The ultimate goal is to have a bill signed into law before March 14, the expiration date of some additional unemployment benefits.

The relief bill is set to include an incentive for states to expand Medicaid by temporarily increasing the base Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by 5% for two years for states that newly expand Medicaid. This 5% increase would be on top of the 6.2% FMAP increase states received last year in the COVID-19 relief bills. The proposed package would also allow states, for five years, to extend Medicaid eligibility to women for 12 months postpartum.

In terms of small business relief, Democrats plan to increase Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding by $7.25 billion, bring the program’s total to $813.7 billion. Additionally, $15 billion would be provided for the SBA’s Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program.

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD is closely monitoring the development of additional COVID-19 relief proposals and is advocating for the inclusion of provisions that benefit general dentists, as well as their patients, practices, and staff.