Potential clients dim for COVID-19 relief since House passes partisan bill

The U. T. House of Representatives on Thurs passed a $2. 2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that will probably go nowhere as negotiations in between House Democrats and the White Home have failed to produce a bipartisan offer.

The costs included several priorities for health care stakeholders, and prospects for an offer before Election Day appear severe as House lawmakers are planned to return to their districts on Fri. The scaled-down version of the Health insurance and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Options Act passed the House on a 214-207, largely party-line vote.

“Negotiations are continuing, and am ardently hope that we can shortly return to this floor with a bipartisan agreement, ” House Appropriations Panel Chair Nita Lowey (D-N. Con. ) said.

The legislation includes $50 billion dollars in additional provider relief scholarships with new strings attached , increasing additional Medicaid matching money to 14% from the current 6% level, increasing hospitals’ disproportionate-share medical center payments by 2 . 5%, plus giving $238 billion to state government authorities squeezed by the economic downturn, $75 billion dollars for testing and contact doing a trace for, $7. 6 billion for local community health centers and $28 billion dollars for COVID-19 vaccine procurement plus distribution, including ensuring that Medicare might pay for a vaccine with no cost-sharing even if it were only provided an emergency use authorization.

The Medicaid matching plus state government funds could help states reduce or avert provider payment slashes that are already squeezing some private hospitals .

Discussions restarted between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week, although the two were unable to reach an offer even after Pelosi delayed a floor election on the revised HEROES Act with a day to allow more time. Pelosi confronted pressure from vulnerable members in order to at least try to reach an offer before the November election.

“People say, ‘Isn’t some thing better than nothing? ‘ No, there may be an opportunity cost, ” Pelosi informed reporters Thursday.

The House passed the initial version from the HEROES Act in May, and reduction packages offered by Senate Republicans have got gained little traction.