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Capitol Correspondence - 02.16.21

Key New Developments on COVID-19 Emergency Funding Legislation

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The House is currently marking up its COVID-19 budget legislation with the goal of voting on it on Monday. ANCOR is pleased to announce the inclusion of two provisions listed below that represent victories for Medicaid disability providers. However, these victories are not yet complete and more advocacy is still needed for these provisions to advance. The House bill only forms half of the reconciliation package, with the other half coming from the Senate. Once both chambers pass their own budget bills, they will negotiate a final compromise bill that resolves differences between the two bills. ANCOR will be advocating for the aforementioned provisions to make it into, and stay in, the final bill.

Additional COVID-19 funding specifically designated for the Home and Community-Based Services program. While we previewed this earlier, we have since received official confirmation that this language will be in the House bill. The House bill is coming up for a full floor vote on Wednesday. However, this provision is not in the Senate legislation, which is still being drafted.

  • Read the latest coalition effort in which ANCOR participated to highlight the importance of this program.
  • Hear U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester’s (D-DE) statement of support for this funding during the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s markup of the legislation on Friday. The relevant comments begin around the –49-minute mark.

An expansion in eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for organizations with more than 500 employees. These organizations were previously ineligible for the PPP program.

  • This article explains that due to the legislation leaving unchanged original application deadlines, newly eligible organizations will face a time crunch to apply.
  • This webpage shares a summary of the legislation, the video of the markup for this bill and the amendments as proposed.

One big-picture consideration: The House legislation also contains a proposal similar to a Senate initiative that would incentivize states to expand their Medicaid programs. ANCOR is generally keeping track of this discussion because of its implication for both more funding and spending for state budgets beleaguered by the pandemic, due to Medicaid being a federal-state partnership.