POLICY BRIEFINGS


Senate Democrats Call for National Testing Plan


Senate Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to implement a national coronavirus testing plan, arguing that the White House’s current testing blueprint is insufficient. The lawmakers stress the need for increased testing capacity, increased lab capacity, and a sufficient public health workforce so that physical distancing restrictions can be eased and so that every person who needs a test can get one. They call for the development of a comprehensive national strategic plan of action by May 24th to ensure that states have sufficient access to testing to begin to safely reopen.


New COVID-19 Resource from House Committees


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has launched a website to share information related to the work being performed by House committees in response to COVID-19. The new website, www.MajorityLeader.gov/CommitteeAction, highlights all of the actions taken by House committees since the start of the pandemic as well as additional resources related to the virus that the public may find helpful. Leader Hoyer stresses that the House will continue to hold briefings and forums using videoconferencing and teleconference technology to conduct oversight and ensure transparency and accountability on the part of the Trump administration.


McCarthy Selects Oversight, China Task Force Members


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced the GOP lawmakers who have been selected to serve on the Coronavirus Oversight Committee. The Republican members will be led by Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.). Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Jackie Walorski (Ind.), and Mark Green (Tenn.) will also serve on the committee. Leader McCarthy stressed that Republicans will push back against any attempts by Democrats to use the oversight panel to attempt “Impeachment 2.0.”

McCarthy also announced appointments for the Republican China Task Force, which has been charged with working across congressional committees on policies regarding U.S. domestic competitiveness in relation to China, with the goal of drafting a report with policy recommendations by October. The group will be led by Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (Texas) and consist of House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy Barr (Ky.), John Curtis (Utah), Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), John Joyce (Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Darin LaHood (Ill.), Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.), Denver Riggleman (Va.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Chris Stewart (Utah) and Mike Waltz (Fla.). McCarthy stated that he has invited Democrats to participate on the minority panel as well.


SBA Releases Details on Second Round of PPP


The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released a report on the second round of funding disbursed by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). A total of 2.2 million loans exceeding $175 billion have been made with an average loan size of $79,000. Nearly $500,000 in loans have been made by lenders with less than $1 billion in assets, and $850,000 in loans have been made by lenders with $10 billion in assets or less.


HHS Launches Initiative on COVID-19 Disparities


The HHS Office of Minority Health has announced a new effort to develop and coordinate work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. The National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities Initiative is now accepting applications for a funding opportunity for public and community-based organizations to disseminate COVID-19-related information and effective response, recovery, and resilience strategies, and to ensure service linkages for racial and ethnic minority, rural and disadvantaged communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Current data suggests that racial and ethnic minority populations are experiencing a disproportionate impact and worse health outcomes from COVID-19.


Hospitals Report Significant Losses During COVID-19 Pandemic


A new Crowe LLP report shows that average patient volume at hospitals with more than 100 beds declined by 56 percent from March to mid-April. The analysis indicates that such hospitals (outside of New York City and San Francisco) have experienced a $1.4 billion loss in net revenue per day due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Since January 2020, these hospitals have seen a 30 percent decline in inpatient admissions, a 40 percent decline in emergency room visits, a 47 percent decline in observation services, a 62 percent decline in outpatient ancillary services, and a 71 percent decline in outpatient surgery volume. The report estimates that the average hospital will need to operate at 110 percent of previous capacity for six months straight to recoup revenues lost as a result of the coronavirus. The American Hospital Association (AHA) released a similar report last week, estimating that health care facilities will lose $202.6 billion between March and June. Cancelled surgeries account for the majority of lost revenue. AHA is asking Congress to pass additional relief for the industry and to assist with coverage of uninsured individuals.


Hart Health Strategies COVID-19 Resources


Hart Health Strategies Inc. prepared a new resource on Re-Opening America. In addition, the following resources related to the coronavirus pandemic continue to be updated and posted at the links below. Please remember to clear your cache to ensure you download the most recent documents.



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BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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