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Dingell & House Act to Provide Assistance to Michiganders during Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, March 14, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Late last night, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that would provide support to Michiganders and their families during the spread of coronavirus.

“Leaders must lead,” said Dingell. “Our nation is facing an unprecedented pandemic, unlike what any of us can remember. Our role in Congress is to be proactive and ensure public health officials have the resources and tools that they need. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act begins to meet the needs of our communities. It ensures testing is 100 percent covered. It ensures paid sick leave, and food and economic assistance goes directly to hardworking men, women and families deeply affected by the outbreak. We must work together and work quickly to address this crisis.”

This Families First Coronavirus Response Act is focused directly on providing support for America’s families, who must be our first priority during this crisis, and includes:
  • Free testing for coronavirus: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that all individuals who need a test, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access at no cost.
  • Economic security:
    • Paid emergency leave: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 
       Enhanced Unemployment Insurance: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives states the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave. This measure also provides additional funding to help the hardest-hit states immediately and in the future if conditions worsen.
  • Food security: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes more than $1 billion to provide food to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help local food banks, and feed low-income seniors. It ensures that students who depend on schools and child care for free and reduce-priced meals continue to have access to nutritious foods during closures. And it provides women, infants, and children with the flexibility to access food and infant formula without having to make unnecessary or unsafe visits to clinics.
  • Health security: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), which the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This will prevent states from cutting benefits, reducing their Medicaid rolls, or imposing greater costs on enrollees.

Since news first broke of the coronavirus, Dingell has vigorously monitored the coronavirus and work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and related federal agencies to ensure all preventative measures are taken to monitor and educate the public on Coronavirus. Thursday evening, Dingell organized a telephone town hall with state and local health experts to provide update on steps being taken to keep our community safe. Dingell will make these telephone town halls a weekly occurrence.

Last week, Dingell and the House approved $8.3 billion in funding to respond to the Coronavirus, including support for state and local health agencies, vaccine and treatment development, and loans for affected small business. Dingell has also pressed the Trump Administration to ensure the US has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for the outbreak – including respirators, masks, and other equipment. Earlier this year, Dingell and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) asked the Administration to work industry to mitigate impact of coronavirus on the economy and global supply chain.

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