Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

It looks as if we will all get our covid stimulus checks, albeit smaller than anticipated. Thank the extra addendums, riders that were added to the original bill.  The president tried to get bigger checks, but here is what is in the bill:

  • Stimulus payments: Americans will receive up to $600 per child and adult.
  • Unemployment benefits:  Two expiring CARES Act programs were extended for another 11 weeks:  Unemployment Assistance and Emergency Compensation.
  • PPP:  The Payment Protection Program is given another $284 billion.
  • Housing evictions:  The moratorium for evictions was extended through the end of January.
  • Schools: The bill gives $82 billion to schools and colleges.
  • Testing:  The agreement includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, $8 billion for vaccine distribution, $20 billion for states to conduct testing and $20 billion for health care providers.
  • Transportation:  $45 billion for transportation, including $16 billion for support of airlines, employees, and contractors, $14 billion for transit systems, $10 billion for highways, $2 billion for intercity buses, $2 billion for airports and $1 billion for Amtrak.
  • Tax provisions:  There are a host of tax provisions, targeted both at individuals and businesses.

So, we have a lot to look forward to, including president-elect Biden being sworn in on January 20th.  

In practical terms, individuals, families, and communities should see relief in 2021 – from COVID with vaccines, from economic downturn with reenergized commerce, opportunities, and activities. 

At AARP, we have many more battles and challenges to look forward to.  AARP has and is continuing to address critical Nursing Home issues at the State and Federal Level. We are continuing to raise this issue at the state and national level as immediate action is needed to protect the vulnerable in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

California’s Impact:  From October 2020 data, at least 6,159 nursing home and other long-term care facility residents and staff have died due to COVID-19, or 34% of California’s COVID-19 related deaths are from long-term care facilities (https://covidtracking.com/data/longertermcare).  More than 76% of California’s nursing homes had at least one confirmed resident COVID-19 case and at least 37.6% had at least one confirmed staff case.

AARP’s COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard has demonstrated that deaths and cases are no longer declining as they did during the summer and in fact resident and staff cases are beginning to increase, presenting a considerable risk to nursing home residents, staff and to their families.

AARP Asks Members to:

  • Act NOW to ensure care facilities have adequate staffing, testing, and PPE they need to identify and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Act NOW to include guardrails to ensure that taxpayer dollars provided to long-term care facilities are used towards items and services that directly relate to the health and safety of residents and staff.
  • Act NOW to take action to ensure facilities are required to report publicly on a daily basis demographic information if they have confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.
  • Act NOW to take action to make virtual visitation available and facilitated as a safety measure between residents and their families.
  • Act NOW to reject blanket immunity for long-term care facilities related to COVID-19.

Please call or write your state and local legislators to keep fighting for Nursing Homes!