This newsletter contains updates on legislation, regulation and guidance on the federal and state levels in response to COVID-19. Please visit the Coronavirus Information section of the NAHU website for more resources.
 

The NAHU COVID-19 Relief Fund has been created to provide financial support to NAHU members and their families that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support could provide monetary assistance with out of pocket medical expenses, unanticipated funeral expenses, or other special circumstance COVID-19 related expenses for members in good standing and their legal dependents.
 
If you or fellow member has been impacted and you would like to apply for assistance, please click here. If you are in a position to make a contribution to help support your fellow NAHU member, we ask that you please donate here. These contributions are tax-deductible.
 


Congress
  • GOP lawmakers and the White House remain divided over key priorities such as unemployment benefits, a payroll tax cut and the overall price of the next coronavirus relief package.
  • Last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Secretary Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows met to begin negotiations on the next COVID-19 aid legislation. Administration officials have indicated they want Congress to reach a deal by the end of July, as the Senate is scheduled to begin its summer recess on August 7.
  • Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced the Preparing for the Next Pandemic Act, legislation that will maintain sufficient onshore manufacturing for tests, treatments and vaccines, and rebuild state and federal stockpiles of supplies like masks and ventilators.
  • Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced the U.S. MADE Act of 2020 to decrease dependence on countries like China for critical personal protective equipment for our healthcare providers.
  • Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
  • Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Crisis Care Improvement and Suicide Prevention Act, which would direct states to utilize five percent of their Mental Health Block Grant for crisis-care services, particularly during the pandemic.
  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a proposal to significantly expand the availability of telehealth services in Medicare on a permanent basis.
  • Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the KEEP Telehealth Options Act, which would require the federal government to study the actions taken to expand access to telehealth services during the pandemic and report on how to improve those services.
  • Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Health Subcommittee GOP Leader Nunes (R-CA), released a discussion draft outlining a bold plan to further promote telehealth for patients.
  • Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled a series of bills that are part of Republicans’ agenda for economic growth and increasing American innovation in U.S. medicines and cures as we continue to fight the novel coronavirus.
  • Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced legislation to provide financial relief to millions of American families facing the burden of high healthcare costs. The proposal would reduce the current 7.5% income threshold for the medical expense deduction to five percent for 2020 and 2021, and make the 7.5% income threshold permanent for all other years.
  • Representatives John Curtis (R-UT), Peter Welch (D-VT), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to study the impacts of telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL), Jackie Walorski (D-IN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (D-PA) introduced the Ensuring Parity in MA for Audio-Only Telehealth Act, bipartisan legislation to help ensure Medicare Advantage enrollees who cannot access the video component during telehealth visits are able to access care through audio visits during the pandemic.
 
Administration 
  • NAHU submitted the final few letters in our series of responses to proposed rules and interim final rules by the Trump Administration in regards to Paycheck Protection Program loans and loan forgiveness. Our first letter is in response to the interim final rule titled "Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—Revisions to the Third and Sixth Interim Final Rules." Our second letter is in response to the interim final rule titled "Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—Certain Eligible Payroll Expenses (Fishing Boat Owners)." Our third letter is in response to the interim final rule titled "Business Loan Program Temporary Changes: Paycheck Protection Program – Revisions to Loan Forgiveness and Loan Review Procedures Interim Final Rules.”
  • In his first White House press briefing on the pandemic since the end of April, President Trump urged Americans to wear masks, maintain distance and avoid crowded bars.
  • President Trump told reporters he plans to resume the daily briefings on the Administration's response to the coronavirus.
  • Secretary Mnuchin announced a payroll tax cut will not be included in the next coronavirus relief legislation.
  • The White House released a fact sheet titled "President Donald J. Trump Is Protecting Our Nation's Vulnerable Seniors."
  • CMS announced several initiatives designed to protect nursing-home residents from COVID-19 including new funding, enhanced testing, additional technical assistance and support, and weekly data on high-risk nursing homes.
  • The Internal Revenue Service’s new Fraud Enforcement Office will create a team to better prepare the agency for threats like the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The IRS added publicly available COVID-19 and unemployment data to a new tool providing statistical geographic analysis of the agency’s resources and employees overlaid with available tax-collection work.
  • Federal Reserve officials are set to discuss how to provide more economic stimulus at their July 28 and 29 meetings.
States
  • Track where all 50 states stand on reopening here.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released resources to assist states to reopen.
  • CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia.