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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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04/01/2020

Congress

  • The House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee hopes to include its bill to address unexpected out-of-network (OON) “surprise” medical bills in the next big coronavirus relief bill.
    • The E&C bill, which was introduced in the Senate by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is one of three major proposals to address this issue. The House Ways and Means (W&M) Committee and the House Education and Labor (E&L) both have proposals as well.
    • Congress was originally trying to decide on a bill that can advance in time to include surprise billing legislation in a package of expiring temporary Medicare and Medicaid provisions that needed to be extended by May 22nd. The CARES Act extended those provisions which means Congress needs to find a new legislative vehicle for surprise billing legislation.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is already working on a “Phase IV” bill. Her goal is to have a bill ready when Congress returns to the Capitol on April 20th.
  • The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates the CARES Act “recovery rebates” will cost the Government $591 billion. The recovery rebates are the $1,200 checks to individuals ($2,400 to families) that are adjusted based on income and number of children.
  • Speaker Pelosi is in favor of holding a vote by mail election in November instead of requiring voters to vote in person at their polling location unless they receive an absentee ballot.

White House and Federal Agencies