- A LOT HAS HAPPENED SINCE LAST WEEK’S HEALTHCARE PREVIEW. Since last Monday, the Continuing Resolution was signed into law, there was the first presidential debate, there were continuing discussions on the next COVID-19 relief package, a new Provider Relief Fund distribution was announced, and the biggest news of the week was President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. The status of President Trump and his medical condition will continue to lead the news and be the focus of the entire nation throughout the next few weeks. Needless to say, last week was very busy for healthcare policy folks and leaves us with the question of what’s next in our current landscape.
- DOES THE COVID-19 RELIEF AND STIMULUS PACKAGE COME TOGETHER? We will focus on a key issue that remains unsolved, the COVID-19 relief and stimulus package. It is clear that leadership, including President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are talking about getting a COVID-19 package across the finish line. We have always believed it was a possible for a deal to come together. However, that would require both sides to be willing to compromise. Additionally, we have to note that the Senate is out at least until the week of October 19, and even that date may be a touch optimistic given the number of senators who are currently positive for COVID-19. (Three Republican senators, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), were also diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.) Furthermore, the House of Representatives began a month-long October recess on Friday, but have instructions to return to Washington with at least 24 hours’ notice to vote on an aid package, if a package comes together. With the airline industry furloughing tens of thousands of employees, there is significant interest in addressing economic recovery efforts, and there are also talks of a standalone airline package as an alternative to a larger COVID-19 relief package. We look for signals this week to see if there is movement towards any type of a deal prior to the election.
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