Yesterday, the President and a bipartisan group of Senators reached an agreement on an infrastructure deal, including offsets to pay for the spending included in the bill. At this time, it appears the HHS Provider Relief Fund (PRF) is not included as a pay-for in the agreement.
This agreement still has a long journey before becoming law. While text of the bill is not yet available, negotiators on both sides said they have reached a deal that is expected to move forward in a procedural vote on the full floor of the Senate this afternoon. President Biden has expressed his approval of the bipartisan process that has resulted in nearly $600 billion of new spending.
As you well know, the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund has been a lifeline for long term care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to make sure lawmakers know the importance of this resource and that many facility doors could close without additional aid. It remains critical that the remaining funds be distributed, especially as we are battling the spread of the Delta variant on top of financial, staffing, and census challenges. Robbing this fund to pay for the infrastructure agreement would have been devastating for health care providers and for long term care in particular.
We could not have achieved this result without you. We heard time and time again that your collective outreach to the Senators involved in these negotiations made a difference. Please consider reaching back out to your Senator to thank them for their support if appropriate.
This is the first step in a lengthy legislative process before a bill can reach the President’s desk. Even if the agreement survives the Senate unchanged, the House is expected to put its stamp on any legislation that arrives in the chamber.
We know our work is not done. We will continue to monitor the infrastructure package as it moves through Congress to ensure the PRF remains untouched and that support for long term care is included in this and other major legislation. Additionally, we are redoubling our efforts to encourage the Administration to release the remaining funds to long term care providers.
Thank you again for all your hard work. We will continue to monitor the process and let you know of any updates.
Carl J. Pucci
Chief Financial Officer