Congressman Al Green Announces Passage of $8.3B Spending Package to Address Global Coronavirus Emergency

Mar 4, 2020 Issues: Health Care

(Washington, D.C.) – On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Congressman Al Green released the following statement regarding the passage of emergency supplemental funding that will help protect Americans against the spread of coronavirus:

“After working closely with Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse to obtain a detailed breakdown of Houston’s health needs, I am pleased to announce that H.R. 6074 significantly addresses funding for state and local agencies as they prepare to handle a potential coronavirus outbreak,” Congressman Green said.

According to Congressman Green, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act “includes $2.2 billion in funding for programs vital to Dr. Persse and other local health authorities for preventing, preparing for, and responding to coronavirus if a case is confirmed. The bill also provides nearly $1 billion for necessary pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to help ensure preparedness and to improve medical surge capacity. Lastly, the bill includes an emergency telehealth waiver that allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive certain Medicare telehealth restrictions so Medicare providers can offer telehealth services related to coronavirus to beneficiaries regardless of where they reside.”

“I must thank Rep. Nita M. Lowey, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, for considering the needs of local agencies like the Houston Health Department in drafting H.R. 6074.” Congressman Green expressed confidence “that if Houston should encounter a coronavirus case, this funding would better prepare healthcare professionals and public health authorities to treat patient(s) and help them recover, while helping to ensure the virus does not spread to others.”

Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse added, “As Houston prepares its COVID-19 response plan, the emergency supplemental funding is vital to ensure we are adequately staffed with personnel, testing and surveillance resources, and infrastructure at the local level. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the Congressman on this important issue and look forward to continuing to work with him.”