Updated House HEROES Act

Updated House HEROES Act

The House of Representatives released an updated HEROES Act this week and are currently negotiating with the White House in order to come to an agreement on the next round of COVID relief.  This latest relief package includes many provisions, supported by LeadingAge, that would help long-term care providers and the aging population they care for.  Included in this relief package are:

  • Staffing Support: For aging services organizations, staffing is consistently a critical need, but especially so during this pandemic. While it is unfortunate that this bill does not address pandemic premium pay for essential workers, it does fund state and local health departments to purchase PPE for these essential workers.
  • Testing and Other Support: Additional funding for Older Americans Act programs will help address the needs of older adults facing challenges from the pandemic. LeadingAge has continually advocated for funding to ensure the sustainability of supports and services for older adults throughout the pandemic, and this bill’s provider relief and testing/tracing provisions are another step in the right direction. Funding for vaccine distribution is also a positive step.
  • Affordable Senior Housing: LeadingAge commends the inclusion in the bill of provisions to support affordable senior housing, including $500 million for the Section 2020 Housing for the Elderly program and $750 million for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance.
  • Telehealth: COVID-19 has placed greater emphasis on virtual connections rather than in-person interactions, so funding to bring internet to individuals in HUD-assisted senior housing and home health provider reimbursement for telehealth should be included in this bill.

The legislation also creates new State and Local Coronavirus Relief Funds “to help first responders, frontline health workers, transit employees, teachers, and other workers providing vital services.”  The House has indicated that it could move this legislation to a floor vote this week before they leave town this Friday the 2nd of October to head back to their districts to prepare for the upcoming election.

To see a fact sheet with general information on this updated HEROES Act, please visit here.

To see a fact sheet with information regarding the State and Local Coronavirus Relief Funds, please visit here.




David Carter | Director, Health Care Finance & Policy

C 360.888.5702