Dr. Bucshon’s Statement on Year-End Funding and COVID Relief Legislation

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Washington, December 21, 2020 | comments

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) released the following statement after voting in support of the bipartisan and bicameral agreement to fund the government and provide much-needed COVID-19 Relief:

“The funding of our government is set out in the Constitution as one of the basic responsibilities of Congress. While this deal is far from perfect, it keeps the federal government operating and includes pay raises for our troops, funding for border security, and other important priorities – while maintaining all pro-life protections. 

“Additionally, I am pleased that multiple priorities that I have been working on throughout the 116th Congress will now be passed into law as part of this legislation. These include a solution that addresses Surprise Medical Billing so that patients are protected – while also ensuring that the solution is fair for both providers and health plans, a fix to mitigate steep Medicare reimbursement cuts for physicians scheduled to take effect on January 1st so that doctors do not have their pay cut during this pandemic, legislation that will allow the Federal Trade Commission to better protect consumers from scammers taking advantage of COVID-19, and legislation to spur the development of a national strategy around advance materials used in manufacturing.

“Furthermore, I am pleased to support additional COVID-19 relief funding that Hoosiers in Southwest and West Central, Indiana desperately need to get through this health care and economic crisis. It is unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi and Washington Democrats chose politics over people and held out on agreeing to a COVID-19 relief package until after the election because they thought it was in their political best interests.  The COVID-19 relief included in this deal could have been passed into law months ago, but Democrats in Congress blocked such legislation over 40 times. Included is targeted funding for COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution, help for Americans struggling with substance abuse and mental health, access to unused funds for small businesses in the successful Paycheck Protection Program, and temporarily extending the unemployment program set up by the CARES Act. 

“With two vaccines granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, I am hopeful this relief funding will get Americans through to the end of this health care crisis and better prepare Hoosiers to get back on their feet when the pandemic is behind us.”

Background

Legislation included that Dr. Bucshon has worked on:

·       COMPETE ACT - legislation that promotes a national strategy on the development and adoption of new advanced materials that are used throughout the U.S. economy, particularly in the manufacturing, research, and national defense sectors.

·       COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act – legislation that will strengthen the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) enforcement powers to combat scammers who prey upon Americans with scams related to the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, diagnosis of COVID-19, or any government benefits related to COVID-19.

·       Surprise Medical Billing – legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills.

·       Holding Doctors Harmless from Medicare Cuts in 2021—multiple policies to help ensure doctors don’t have their pay drastically cut in the middle of a pandemic

Key COVID Relief Provisions:

  • Provides over $280 billion to reopen and strengthen the PPP program
  • Nearly $20 billion for the production of vaccines and therapeutics, covering the cost for everyone who needs it
  • $8.75 billion for distribution of vaccines. This includes cold chain, advance freezers, and supporting state efforts
  • $20 billion to assist states with testing
  • $3 billion for the national stockpile
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