Senate Sends House Coronavirus Relief to President Trump

The Senate chamber overwhelmingly approved the economic relief bill by a vote of 90-8 on Wednesday March 18. The economic relief bill marks the second such aid package in a matter of weeks, the House Legislation provides amongst other provisions- would eliminate patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and related services, establish an emergency paid leave program, and expand unemployment and nutrition assistance. Moreover, the bill would provide a temporary 6.2% increase in the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (each 1% increase equates to about $7M to South Dakota) and enable states to apply for temporary waivers to cover COVID-19 testing for the uninsured through the Medicaid program.

Passage of the measure allows the Senate to devote its full attention to passing the next relief package, that could total over $1 trillion, in response to the coronavirus crisis.