The Blog to Transform Advanced Care
Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.
Note: While it was expected that President Trump would sign this bill into law as soon as he received it from Congress, late on Dec. 22, he indicated that he was unhappy with the substance of the bill and intimated that he may not make it law unless changes are made. This is an ongoing situation that C-TAC is actively monitoring, and we will update this page as developments arise.
On Dec. 21, Congress passed a massive ~$2 trillion bill combining $900 billion in COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds the federal government through September 2021. While it was widely anticipated that President Trump would sign the bill into law as soon as Congress cleared it, late on Dec. 22, Trump made remarks in which he decried the bill as a “disgrace” and indicated he does not want to sign it into law without major changes, most notably increasing the direct payment stimulus check amount from $600 per person to $2000 per person.
Despite this 11th hour update that may threaten the timing or details of a relief bill’s passage, C-TAC felt it would benefit members and partners to be aware of select provisions of the bill as it exists now that are relevant to health and social care providers and stakeholders.
Within the 5,593 page legislation are policies broadly relevant for people and families facing serious illness and health care entities of all kinds that support them, as well as the underserved low-income and communities of color that have been most negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- To read a full recap from C-TAC’s policy experts, please click here
- To read the full text of the bill, please click here
- To read a summary of the COVID-19 Relief provisions, please click here
- To read a summary of the appropriations provisions, please click here
Family Caregiver Respite Funding bill Passed by Congress
Earlier this week, Congress also passed the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act of 2019, which President Trump is expected to sign into law shortly as well. This bill would authorize $10 million annually for the Lifespan Respite Care program from fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2024. This program supports state lifespan respite care services (i.e., services for family caregivers of children and adults with special needs). The bill requires each state agency that is awarded a grant under the program to report any data required by the Department of Health and Human Services for program monitoring and evaluation.
For more on the bill, please click here.
FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Second COVID-19 Vaccine
On December 18, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons aged ≥18 years for the prevention of COVID-19. The vaccine began shipping on Dec. 21, which vastly expands the reach of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 4,000 sites and comes as the pace of holiday travel picks up, a factor likely to push US case numbers higher in the weeks ahead. C-TAC is supportive of the faster than anticipated development, authorization, and distribution of the now two COVID-19 vaccines and believe they will begin to help protect health care workers and those living in long term care facilities from this deadly virus.
To read more about this EUA, please click here.
CDC Advisory Committee Recommends New Vaccination Priority Groups Including those over Age 75 and Frontline Essential Workers
On Dec. 20, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of recommendations to allow people ages 75 and older and front-line essential workers to be next in line to receive Covid-19 vaccines. This is very encouraging as both groups are at higher risk for catching and developing complications or dying from COVID-19. The recommendations will now go to the CDC for final approval. To read more about these recommendations, please click here.