U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) commended the House passage early this morning of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes many provisions to protect workers and stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 Coronavirus public health crisis.
“In the face of this ongoing pandemic, it is critical that the federal government is providing Alabama families with the funding and support they need to best tackle this crisis,” Sewell said. “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will ensure every Alabamian who needs it has access to testing and care to prevent the spread of the disease; provide workers with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave; strengthen food assistance; and increase federal funds for Medicaid to support state and local government efforts to combat this crisis.”
“I have been working to ensure Alabama has a coordinated response to the Coronavirus outbreak. I have been in communication with the head of the Alabama Department of Public Health and will meet again with him in Montgomery early next week,” Sewell continued. “We are focused on making tests available to those who need them, removing unnecessary barriers to treatment and ensuring the state has the resources it needs to fight this pandemic.”
Included in the package is legislation Sewell introduced Thursday to provide Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and the associated provider visit for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also includes:
- Free Coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
- Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
- Enhanced unemployment benefits;
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks;
- And increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
The legislation is in addition to the $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill Congress passed last week to help states and public health providers address the Coronavirus.