Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, voted to pass H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill addresses the health and financial effects of the spreading Coronavirus on families in America. A statement from Thompson is below. Thompson also addressed the President’s Emergency Disaster Declaration.
“Today I was glad to see an Emergency Disaster Declaration by the President and the House passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, for which I voted. These are important actions to slow the spread of Coronavirus across our nation and to support families already being hit by the economic impact of the pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes immediate steps to protect our health care workers who are on the front lines of stopping the spread and caring for those who are sick. It also expands free testing for the virus, including for individuals on private insurance and programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
“H.R. 6201 also includes critical relief for families already feeling the economic impacts of the virus, including an emergency paid leave program and an expansion of food assistance programs. The Senate must immediately pass this bill and the President must sign into law as soon as possible. We cannot delay our response to this public health crisis.”
H.R. 6201 dramatically boosts the Federal government’s response to the virus by expanding access to free Coronavirus testing for those with private insurance as well as individuals on government health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. This includes an option for states to expand access to Medicaid so that more individuals can access the free testing through the program. It also protects medical workers on the frontlines of the pandemic by setting up a standard that health care facilities must follow to keep workers safe.
This legislation also helps support families across our nation who may be impacted by the spread of the Coronavirus by expanding food assistance programs for low income Americans, including seniors and children and establishing an emergency paid leave program so workers who are sick or caring for a sick family member can still pay their bills. It also expands the flexibility of unemployment benefits programs so workers who are laid off due because of the health emergency can continue to get unemployment benefits.
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