fbpx
Select Page

COVID-19 Legislative Update

Dec 21, 2020 | News

Monday, December 21

Congress Reaches an Agreement on COVID-19 Relief Bill and Surprise Medical Billing 

COVID Relief Package 

Over the weekend, Congressional leadership reached an agreement on a new round of COVID-19 relief initiatives totaling more than $900 Billion. Votes on the bill will be held today in an effort to pass a combined 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package by the time the current continuing resolution expires at midnight tonight.  We have yet to see the legislative language and will get more details once we do, but according to reports, the bill includes:

  • A continuation of the Universal Charitable Deduction to allow individuals to deduct $300 and couples to deduct $600 above-the-line for tax year 2021;
  • $284 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP);
  • Continued eligibility for nonprofits to access PPP loans and new eligibility for certain 501(c)(6) organizations;
  • A second draw for organizations that received a first PPP loan and can demonstrate business losses;
  • $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines;
  • $9 billion for vaccine distribution;
  • $22 billion to help states with testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation programs; and
  • Direct payments of up to $600 to individuals.

An extra $300 per week in federal cash for unemployed workers through March 14. Two major areas of contention were not included in the final deal. Neither the liability shield for business against COVID-19 related litigation, a major priority for the Republicans, nor direct aid to states and localities, a major priority for the Democrats, were included.

Ending Surprise Medical Billing 

After some significant last-minute negotiations, the deal is also reported to address the issue of surprise medical bills. Ending this practice has been a long-term goal of the NHC and our member patient advocacy organizations and has bipartisan support.

The omnibus includes an agreement to protect patients from medical bills for unexpected out-of-network and emergency care. The reported deal prevents out-of-network doctors from sending bills to patients they have seen at in-network hospitals. Instead, any payment dispute between providers and insurers would go straight to arbitration. An amendment to the deal would bar arbiters from basing their billing decisions on Medicare and Medicaid rates. In addition, the deal calls for insurers to submit more general information on medical costs and prescription drug spending to relevant federal agencies, to inform a government report on drug pricing trends. This is different from earlier versions that would have required insurers to disclose detailed information to employers about their drug costs and rebates.

Alpha-1 Events Calendar

December

January 2021

February
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
Events for January

1st

No Events
Events for January

2nd

No Events
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Events for January

3rd

No Events
Events for January

4th

No Events
Events for January

5th

No Events
Events for January

6th

No Events
Events for January

7th

No Events
Events for January

8th

No Events
Events for January

9th

10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Events for January

10th

No Events
Events for January

11th

No Events
Events for January

12th

No Events
Events for January

13th

No Events
Events for January

14th

Events for January

15th

No Events
Events for January

16th

17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Events for January

17th

No Events
Events for January

18th

No Events
Events for January

19th

No Events
Events for January

20th

No Events
Events for January

21st

Events for January

22nd

No Events
Events for January

23rd

No Events
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Events for January

24th

No Events
Events for January

25th

No Events
Events for January

26th

No Events
Events for January

27th

No Events
Events for January

28th

Events for January

29th

Events for January

30th

31
1
2
3
4
5
6
Events for January

31st

No Events
Events for February

6th