HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ House Set to Consider COVID-19 Relief Bill Week of Feb. 22
House Set to Consider COVID-19 Relief Bill Week of Feb. 22

The House of Representatives is set to move a COVID-19 relief package to House floor votes next week, following consideration in the House Budget Committee on Feb. 22. The $1.9 trillion House package closely mirrors President Biden’s proposal and includes funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, testing and school reopening. Following House passage, the Senate is expected to consider the bill under budget reconciliation rules which require a simple majority vote for passage. The bill does face some Senate Republican opposition in its current form, particularly surrounding a measure to increase the minimum wage, so we expect that it will change. Congressional Democratic leadership is aiming to pass the COVID-19 relief package by mid-March, before enhanced unemployment benefits expire.

Health-related proposals include the following. Some of these and other proposals in Biden’s plan may not make it into the final legislation:

  • Expansion of the federal funding match for states to ensure vaccine coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Tripling 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.
Last Reviewed: February 2021