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Senator Murray secures over $100 billion in bipartisan COVID-19 package to support hospitals and purchase of medical equipment

Murray pressed for surge funding after GOP bill failed to provide adequate resources for hospitals, health infrastructure, medical equipment, and more 

Bill includes new $100 billion grant program to help health care providers handle losses related to the COVID-19 crisis

Bill also includes $16 billion to bolster the Strategic National Stockpile for critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and life-saving medicine

Murray: “Health care workers on the frontlines have been clear—they need resources, infrastructure, and serious reinforcements and they need them yesterday.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding the new $100 billion funding program for hospitals and billions for other investments in medical equipment and preparedness in the new bipartisan coronavirus response package which passed the Senate.

“We have to fight the virus that is at the root of all the harm we are seeing—not just the economic symptoms. That’s why I fought to make sure this bill included surge funding for hospitals and medical equipment, and why I’m going to keep fighting for more funding. Health care workers on the frontlines have been clear—they need resources, infrastructure, and serious reinforcements and they need them yesterday. I’m working to get this bipartisan bill signed into law, to hold this Administration accountable to quickly getting this funding to the places that need it most, and to make sure Congress continues to build off this bill with additional resources for our states and communities.”

Senator Murray fought to secure the funding which represents a significant increase from a previous, partisan bill offered by Republicans. The funding in the bipartisan bill, includes resources for the following programs included under the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR):

  • $100 billion for a new program to provide grants to hospitals, public entities, not-for-profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus;
  • More than $27 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent or treat the effects of coronavirus, including:
  • $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile for critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and life-saving medicine;
  • At least $3.5 billion to advance construction, manufacturing, and purchase of vaccines and therapeutics for the American people. This is in addition to the major investments provided for these activities in the first supplemental.
  • At least $250 million for the Hospital Preparedness Program, including the National Ebola and Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), regional, State and local special pathogens treatment centers, and hospital preparedness cooperative agreements;
  • Funding for innovations in manufacturing platforms to support a U.S.-sourced supply chain of vaccines, therapeutics, and small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients;
  • Funding to support U.S.-based next generation manufacturing facilities;
  • Enhancements to the U.S. Commissioned Corps;
  • Funding to support research related to antibiotic resistant secondary infections associated with coronavirus; and
  • Workforce modernization and increased telehealth access and infrastructure to increase access to digital healthcare delivery.

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