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SIDE BY SIDE: Senate Republicans’ Proposal Lacks Adequate Testing and Completely Fails to Address Coverage and Health Care Costs As the Nation Continues to Reel From the Coronavirus Crisis

By July 29, 2020No Comments

This week, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans unveiled their embarrassing proposal to address the worsening coronavirus pandemic, which fails to address the health care needs of Americans during this pandemic. In comparison, the Heroes Act passed by the House over two months ago provides $75 billion in funding for testing and contact tracing, free coronavirus treatment without cost-sharing, the opening of a special enrollment period for the uninsured to gain coverage through the ACA marketplace and increases in federal funds to support state Medicaid programs.

See a side-by-side comparison of key health care and economic provisions in the Heroes Act and the Senate GOP proposal below:

Health Care ProvisionsHeroes ActSenate Republican Proposal 
Funding for Testing & Contact TracingProvides $75 billion in grants to state, local, Tribal, and territorial health departments to support testing, contact tracing, and isolation$16 billion, down from $25 billion in previous iterations of the GOP bill
Guarantees Coverage Of Coronavirus Treatment Without Cost-Sharing?YesNo
Provisions to Expand Health Care Coverage? 
  • Opens a Special Enrollment Period
  • Provides subsidies for individuals purchasing insurance through COBRA
  • Increases the Medicaid FMAP to 14 percent


Economic ProvisionsHeroes ActSenate Republican Proposal 
State/Local (Incl. Education Funding)Provides nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers 

*Senate Democrats also introduced a $430 billion relief bill to address child care and education

  • Provides $105 billion for education, with some funding contingent on physically reopening
  • No additional funds for state and local governments
Direct Payments$1,200 per family member $1,200 for adults, plus $500 per dependent 
Essential Workers
  • Establishes a $200 billion “Heroes’ Fund” for essential workers, ensuring they receive hazard pay
  • Ensures workplace safety protections consistent with CDC guidelines
Includes liability protections for corporations, including a five-year ban from coronavirus-related lawsuits unless the business engaged in “gross negligence” or intentional misconduct”
Unemployed WorkersExtends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next JanuaryCuts weekly federal unemployment to $200 per week, which translates to a decrease of $1,600 per month for millions of Americans
Small BusinessesStrengthens the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan programProvides a second round of PPP loans for businesses under 300 workers, as long as they can demonstrate 50 percent lost revenue compared with a reference period
Additional Support
  • Provides $175 billion in housing support for renters and homeowners
  • Includes a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs
Includes $1.75 billion to rebuild the FBI headquarters to help protect President Trump’s real estate profits