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Published: January 5, 2021

COVID Relief Funds and Extenders Help California

Before the end of the federal legislative session, Congress passed and the President signed a package of bills that provide states and individuals with COVID-19 support and funds, renew several important health care programs, and make key health care policy changes. In a major win for primary care, the bills extend funding for Community Health Centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program at current levels for three years. AAFP released an analysis that identifies a number of other provisions that affect physicians, including:

  • A Medicare payment boost and compromise.
  • A compromise to address surprise billing.
  • 1,000 additional Medicare-funded residency positions.
  • $3 billion in additional Provider Relief Fund support.

Of the additional money allocated, California is expected to receive:

  • $1.3 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and vaccines.
  • $20 billion in unemployment assistance.
  • $17 billion in direct stimulus checks of $600 each to lower-income Californians.
  • $8.5 billion for schools, community colleges, and universities.
  • $2 billion in rental assistance.
  • $2 billion for transportation.

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