03/27/2020 | Press release | Archived content
The funding includes $100 billion for direct aid to health care institutions like hospitals that are facing severe financial challenges from the pandemic response and $16 billion to replenish the national stockpile of personal protective equipment, drugs, and medical equipment that health care workers need to save lives and protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus.
State governments like New Mexico that are leading the COVID-19 response will also get major support from a $150 billion coronavirus fund for states, Tribes and local governments. The state of New Mexico, including local governments, will be eligible for up to $1.25 billion to reimburse for costs stemming from the pandemic.The relief measures are part of a third, $2 trillion legislative package from Congress to help working families, small businesses, and the U.S. economy in the face of the devastating public health and financial impacts of coronavirus. This month Congress already passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that provides free nationwide testing for COVID-19 and initial economic relief and an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriation.
'My top priority in Congress is making sure New Mexicans have the resources they need to stay healthy,' said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.'Governor Lujan Grisham and our local leaders are stepping up to meet this unprecedented public health crisis with decisive and proactive action critical to buy more time for New Mexico's doctors, nurses, and other health care heroes and prevent New Mexico's hospital system from being overwhelmed by this virus. These major federal investments will support New Mexico's vital efforts, help our hospitals stay afloat and our health care workers get more of the supplies and equipment they need to save lives. The coronavirus threatens to quickly overwhelm the capacity of hospitals across the country. New Mexico's hospital capacity is limited in size and our rural hospitals, especially, are at risk. We fought hard to make sure that hospitals and healthcare workers - who are on the frontlines of combatting coronavirus to protect the health of our nation - have the resources they need to do their jobs and are not themselves victims of this pandemic.'
'This crisis has revealed in stark relief how much we need to reinvest in our hospitals and health care system to ensure that everyone in America-whether they live in rural New Mexico or in New York City-has access to lifesaving medical care,' Heinrich said. 'That's why the legislation we just passed includes what is being called a Marshall Plan for our hospitals and health care system. This funding will help our hospitals secure supplies they desperately need during this emergency such as ventilators and personal protective equipment and also provide key support for the COVID-19 response at community health centers, the VA, and the Indian Health Service. I will keep doing everything in my power to equip our hospitals and health care workers on the frontlines of this pandemic with the supplies and resources they need to keep everyone healthy and safe.'
New Mexico Hospital Association Chief Executive Officer Jeff Dye said, 'New Mexico's hospitals sincerely appreciate the support of Senators Udall and Heinrich for special federal funding directed to hospitals that are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines. The support is critical to meet immediate supply and staffing needs as well as sustain hospital operations in the coming months.'
The bill includes:
Importantly, the bill also extends community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, the Special Diabetes Program and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, and teaching health centers that operate GME programs at current funding levels through November 30, 2020.