Congress has yet to pass another COVID-19 relief package
The issue: The benefits from the CARES Act expired in July and Senate Republicans and House Democrats have yet to come to an agreement on another COVID-19 stimulus package. While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in talks, an agreement could not be reached before the election. After the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shared that Congress needed to approve a new bill by the end of 2021. Key areas of disagreement include:
- Extra unemployment benefits
- State and local funding
- Liability protections for businesses
- Tax credits
- Money for COVID-19 testing
- School and childcare funding
Why is it important? ASDA along with other associations within organized dentistry have been advocating for key provisions to be included in the next COVID-19 relief package. These provisions include:
- Incentivizing health care practitioners to work in health-disadvantaged communities that have been further undermined by COVID-19 by providing tax credits, federal grants, additional student loan repayment, and other incentives.
- Increasing the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) using an economic indicator, while also keeping in place maintenance of effort (MOE) protections if used to support state Medicaid programs with adult and child dental services.