U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recently announced that he helped secure $15.6 million for the State of Ohio in the $8.3 billion Supplemental Coronavirus Spending bill that the House and Senate announced. The Trump administration initially only requested $1.25 billion in new money, all for federal agencies and nothing for states and local governments. Brown worked with his colleagues to ensure Ohio and local communities around the state have the funding they need to prevent and manage any potential cases of the coronavirus. The final package includes $8.3 billion in total funding, with $7.8 billion for immediate help to combat the coronavirus, and an additional $500 million authorization to enhance telehealth services. The $7.8 billion includes at least $15.6 million for Ohio alone. The House passed this Supplemental Funding bill, with the Senate expected to take it up as early as Thursday.
Brown also joined his Democratic colleagues earlier this week in demanding that Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar take immediate action to address the many ways the Trump Administration’s health care sabotage has undermined our preparedness for and ability to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, the senators asked Secretary Azar to commit to making any potential coronavirus vaccine affordable to all, stop promoting junk plans that don’t cover the care necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, and stop promoting efforts to undermine Medicaid that jeopardize people’s health care. The Supplemental Coronavirus Spending bill includes language that would require vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics developed using taxpayer funds be available for purchase by the Federal government at a fair and reasonable price.
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