The Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act (Public Law 116-139, originally introduced as Senate Amendment 1580 to amend HR 266) makes additional funds available for small business programs and federal agencies. Specifically, this law provides additional funds for the newly established Paycheck Protection Program and Emergency EIDL Grants, the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, and the Disaster Loans Program run by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
To support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program and Emergency EIDL Grants, which were both established by the CARES Act, will receive over $300 billion and $10 billion, respectively, in additional funding. Additionally, this law provides the SBA with an additional $50 billion in funding for its disaster loan program. This Act also amends a portion of the Small Business Act, making small agricultural enterprises, insured depository institutions, credit unions, and community financial institutions eligible for this disaster relief.
This law also provides $100 billion in funds for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these funds, $75 billion are to be distributed to eligible healthcare providers, provided that the providers justify their request for additional funds. These funds will be distributed to eligible entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including healthcare related expenses or lost revenue attributed to coronavirus. Two reports, one including relevant de-identified demographic information about individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and their outcomes, and the other outlining a strategic testing plan, shall be sent to Congress.
The remaining $25 billion will be distributed among various state and federal agencies to support the development and expansion of COVID-19 testing and epidemiological, disease surveillance, and contact tracing programs. The following agencies and programs will receive a portion of these funds:
- Food and Drug Association: to support activities associated with COVID-19 testing;
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: to support epidemiology studies, disease surveillance, and contact tracing;
- National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and Office of the Director: to expand, accelerate, and improve testing, including the development of serological testing;
- Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority: to research, develop, manufacture, produce, and purchase tests
- Health Resources and Services Administration – Primary Health Care: to provide grants to federally qualified health centers;
- States, localities, territories, and tribal organizations: to enhance their capacity to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, provided that any receiving entity submit a plan for testing, including testing needs, testing capacity, and projected use of governmental resources;
- Rural health clinics: to support testing; and
- Up to $1 billion to cover testing costs for uninsured individuals.