“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives late last night, is a critical step toward ensuring the health, safety, food security and economic stability of communities, businesses, working people and families across the country. We applaud Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Chairman Richard Neal for putting together strong emergency legislation earlier this week that set the stage for the House to achieve this result. The provisions championed by Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Stephanie Murphy, Bobby Scott and Alma Adams will make a pivotal difference in containing the spread of coronavirus and helping families weather the economic uncertainty.
By providing both emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, supporters of the bill recognize that working people need to be able to stay home when they’re sick, take care of themselves and their loved ones, and self-quarantine when needed without putting their pay, their job, or their economic survival at risk. The bill further bolsters families’ economic security by providing the needed funds to cover additional strains on unemployment insurance.
The legislation also increases funding for Medicaid to provide relief to states to address immediate public health needs. It also provides states the option to cover uninsured people who need testing and care. Additionally, it requires Medicare, other federal health programs, and most private health plans to cover testing at no cost to patients. This will help people to receive care without facing financial barriers and will improve our government’s ability to monitor, contain and treat individuals with coronavirus. The bill also strengthens food security programs for women and families, seniors, and for the 22 million children who rely on free or reduced-cost school meals.
In a time of crisis, it is important that our leaders prioritize the well-being of our nation, and particularly the communities and families that are most vulnerable. Supporters of the Families First Act have done that. We now look to the Senate to take up and pass the bill immediately.”