NMA Urges Funding for Critical Health Care Needs in Phase 3 of the Stimulus
Monday, March 23, 2020
Congress and the Administration are actively negotiating the details of a Phase 3 stimulus package legislation, expected to be in the range of $2 trillion. We understand that this is needed to help stabilize our economy. However, let us not let Congress and the Administration forget other critical funding needs.
It is a fact that there will be a large number of Americans that will become infected with COVOID-19 (the clinical findings related to infection with SARS-CoV-2) we are at the front end of the “curve,” of the rate of change in COVID-19 cases. It is also a fact that there will be a disproportionate effect on the African American community as those with poorer health are more at risk for complications from COVID-19.
Therefore, we call on Congress and the Administration to ensure that this package provides adequate funds that are critical to support the health care needs of the population. This includes (but is not limited to) funding for:
- Personal protection equipment especially N-95 masks, gowns and face shields
- Aggressive population testing
- Supplemental funding to community health centers and rural health centers
- Supplemental funding to hospitals to increase capacity
- Coverage for anyone seeking medical services related to COVID-19
- Improved access to intensive care needs such as ventilators and staff training
- Increased funding for the CDC to provide immediate and longer term biodefense research
The NMA stands with other health care organizations in demanding that Congress and the Administration make clear their commitment to fighting COVID-19 with action, not just words. Any other response will not give those of us that are closest to this COVID-19 pandemic the tools we need to manage this public health crisis.
The National Medical Association is the collective voice of African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine. The NMA is the oldest organization of African American professionals in America representing African American physicians and the patients we serve in the United States and its territories.