HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ Biden Administration Releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan
Biden Administration Releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan

The Biden Administration also released its proposed COVID-19 recovery plan, called the American Rescue Plan, with a pledge to listen to science and ensure that public decisions are informed by public health professionals. The $1.9 trillion legislative proposal outlines funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, testing scale up and economic relief for families, including significant expansions of paid sick leave and funding for school reopening. Health-related proposals in the plan include:

  • $20 billion for a COVID-19 vaccine program with states, localities, and tribes, with the goal of vaccinating 100 million within 100 days
  • Expansion of the federal funding match for states to ensure vaccine coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries
  • $50 billion for expansion of COVID-19 testing, including procurement of rapid tests
  • Triple the public health workforce by funding 100,000 public health workers
  • Funding, amount not yet specified, to address COVID-19 health disparities
  • Funding, amount not yet specified, to expand disease sequencing and surveillance
  • $30 billion for essential medical supplies
  • Research funding, not yet specified, for development of COVID-19 treatments
  • Federal subsidization of COBRA health insurance coverage until Sept. 30, 2021
  • Expansion and enhancement of the Premium Tax Credit for health insurance, capping out-of-pocket costs at 8.5 percent of income.
  • Renew the Families First emergency paid leave program until Sept. 30, 2021 and extend the program to federal employees
  • Extend and expand unemployment insurance, housing benefits and food assistance.

The Biden-Harris COVID-19 recovery plan must be passed by Congress as part of a new economic stimulus plan, so it will need bipartisan support. With the Senate’s slim Democratic majority, we expect that some elements of the plan, including the full funding amounts proposed for some initiatives, may not pass Congress.

Last Reviewed: January 2021