April 24, 2020

Manchin: Future Emergency Coronavirus Packages Need Dedicated Rural Funding

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on President Trump signing into law the bipartisan $484 billion coronavirus relief package to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and increase funding for healthcare providers that was passed by the Senate on Wednesday and the House of Representatives on Thursday.

“Today President Trump signed into law an additional $484 billion in coronavirus emergency funding. While I am relieved we were finally able to agree on a bipartisan compromise that includes increased funding for healthcare providers and small businesses, I am exceedingly worried that the Americans and West Virginians who need support the most will not receive this help. I will continue fighting to change the emergency healthcare funding distribution formula to ensure our rural providers receive their fair share and I won’t stop pushing for the commonsense, bipartisan fixes we know we need to make the PPP program work for Main Street, not Wall Street. I will also keep calling for flexible funding for our state and local governments to ensure they can maintain the essential services their constituents need now more than ever,” said Senator Manchin.

Senator Manchin has proposed HHS alter the formula to distribute emergency funding to hospitals include the following metrics:

·         A 20 percent Rural Benchmark in the Provider Relief Fund.

·         Priority should be granted to facilities that have been significantly affected by COVID-19 preparation. Rural facilities have lost 50 percent to 80 percent of revenue due to the elimination of non-emergency services as they prepare for a COVID-19 surge. Access to funds is critical. If they do not receive relief, most will close by the time the surge hits their rural community.

·         Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for a disproportionally high percentage of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

·         Priority should be granted for facilities that provide care for populations with above average senior populations or co-morbidities that are particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 and for populations in areas with limited access to health infrastructure. 

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.