On Thursday, January 14th, President Joe Biden released the “American Rescue Plan.” This $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is intended to provide much-needed funding to address the COVID-19 crisis and economic fallout. Here are some things you need to know about the plan.
What are the main points of the American Rescue Plan?
The American Rescue Plan includes many critical proposals that will help Americans during this time. Among other things, the plan:
- Greatly expands COVID-19 testing and vaccinations nationwide.
- Authorizes stimulus checks up to $1,400. When combined with the $600 stimulus checks that were sent out in late 2020, Americans would receive a total of $2,000 in cash relief.
- Raises the national minimum wage to $15 an hour and eliminates the tipped minimum wage and the sub-minimum wage for individuals with disabilities.
- Extends special pandemic unemployment compensation through September 2021.
- Extends the eviction moratorium until September 30th, 2021.
- Increases the food stamps benefit by 15% for all enrollees through September 2021.
How does the plan impact healthcare affordability?
The plan includes two ways to improve access to affordable healthcare.
- Makes plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act marketplace more affordable by increasing financial assistance and decreasing out-of-pocket costs for families and individuals and making that financial assistance available to more people.
- Extends job-based health insurance coverage for individuals who have lost their jobs (known as COBRA) during the pandemic, and provides financial assistance to make COBRA coverage more affordable, keeping people covered if they become unemployed.
What is the status of the American Rescue Plan?
For right now, this plan is just a proposal. To become law, the bill needs to pass through both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. In the meantime, we all need to put pressure on our Representatives and Senators to pass this much-needed funding! You can find your representatives here: https://pahealth.salsalabs.org/whorepresentsyouindc/index.html