Last night, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced legislation to combat the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak through emergency funding for Medicaid, expanding food assistance through SNAP, providing paid leave, establishing free testing regardless of insurance status, and providing protections for frontline health workers, among other provisions. The new legislation comes one day after the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the Coronavirus a global pandemic.
In response to the introduction of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Erin Hemlin, Health Policy and Advocacy Director for Young Invincibles issued the following statement:
“As the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak changes rapidly, Young Invincibles applauds the House’s decisive action to provide immediate relief to states, health care workers, individuals who face food insecurity, and those who could be financially devastated without paid leave or unemployment assistance. Increased federal funding for Medicaid is especially crucial to provide states immediate resources and flexibility to ensure they meet the needs of this growing pandemic, without having to reduce funding to other public health programs.
Millions of young people rely on Medicaid and SNAP to meet their basic needs. As the spread of Coronavirus worsens, students and young workers will need assistance to face this crisis. Thanks to this bill, young Americans will have some peace of mind that they will have access to testing, food assistance, and financial security.”
The House is expected to pass the Coronavirus package today. We urge the Senate to act just as quickly, and for the President to sign the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law.