House Democrats are looking to provide more funds for Covid-19 testing and surveillance to aid efforts to restart the U.S. economy, the head of a prominent House health committee said Friday.
At the briefing, one witness outlined his $46.5 billion plan to reopen the economy and expand the contact tracing workforce. Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is still growing in much of the country and the public health infrastructure needs to expand.
“We’re heading to 100,000 American lives lost, and we’re not appreciably slowing,” he said.
House Democrats want to originate the next coronavirus response package and plan to unveil their plan as early as next week, House leaders said this week.
Democrats have pushed for greater oversight of nursing homes, subsidizing health insurance premiums for coverage coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) to help people who lost their jobs keep their health insurance coverage, and bolstering Obamacare subsidies.
Members of Pallone’s committee have advocated giving states and local governments money to do contact tracing and surveillance of people with Covid-19 and for isolation programs for people with the virus.
How many of these policies will garner Republican support is unclear.