NEW: In Senate-Approved COVID-19 Relief Package, Shaheen Addresses Shortfall in Funding for NH Vaccination Efforts
**Shaheen led a push in Congress to increase access to health insurance for millions of Americans & addressed discrepancy in funding that led NH to receive less federal support than originally estimated for vaccine and tracing efforts.**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Senate cleared comprehensive COVID-19 relief legislation. It will next be considered by the House of Representatives before it is sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law:
“From everyday families struggling to access life-saving health care during this pandemic to local officials scrambling to secure the resources for efficient vaccine distribution, I’m hearing from Granite Staters at every level that immediate relief is essential,” said Shaheen. “Especially as we face down this deadly virus, helping Americans obtain vital care without breaking the bank must be a top priority. That’s why during negotiations on this COVID relief, I fought to add measures from my bill to expand access to insurance for millions of Americans by making premiums and deductibles more affordable. I also worked to include my provision to provide significant federal funding for vaccine efforts in New Hampshire after small states were shortchanged on funding by a flawed CDC formula. The relief legislation also contains critical priorities to boost treatment across the country, including additional Provider Relief Fund grants to support our hospitals and nursing homes, robust assistance for community health centers and an extension of Medicaid coverage to uninsured Americans for the cost of COVID-19 treatment and vaccinations. The pandemic created an unprecedented health care crisis and this Senate package will go a long way in delivering urgently needed relief as we move toward recovery. I’ll continue talking with families, hospitals, frontline health care organizations and community leaders in New Hampshire to ensure we respond nimbly to this crisis and secure relief for those who need it most.”
Senator Shaheen helped lead negotiations on measures related to education, funding for hospitals, and assistance for state and local governments during discussions with the Senate and calls with the White House. The COVID-19 relief legislation includes premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation, the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act. Senator Shaheen also worked to boost vaccine funding for smaller states after a flawed formula led New Hampshire to receive less federal funding than originally estimated. Shaheen led a push in Congress to address this discrepancy last month. Also included in the COVID-19 relief package is legislation that Senator Shaheen helped lead with Senator Bennet, which provides Medicaid coverage to the uninsured for COVID-19 treatment and vaccination costs, which will help make certain that Granite Staters do not forgo needed treatment and vaccinations. The COVID-19 relief legislation also includes $7.6 billion in funding to support community health centers, as well as a boost in federal Medicaid matching funding for home and community-based services (HCBS), both of which are priorities that Senator Shaheen has long advocated for.
Senator Shaheen is a member of the bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers that has steered negotiations of COVID-19 relief. The recent COVID-19 relief bill signed into law in December contained Shaheen-negotiated legislation that provided urgently needed assistance to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers impacted by the public health and economic crises. Senator Shaheen had a similar leadership role as a negotiator for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law last March and secured New Hampshire an initial $1.25 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts.