March 25, 2020

CONTACT: Kathy Melley, 617-791-0708

(BOSTON, MA) – Tonight, the U.S. Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, a bipartisan agreement on an economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill makes significant investments in health systems and the health care workforce. It supports people’s health and well-being through housing and homelessness assistance, direct financial support, access to healthy food, and resources to blunt the impact of unemployment and lack of child care. It also provides aid to help state, local and tribal governments respond to the crisis. At the same time, many unmet needs remain and need to be addressed as quickly as possible. The agreement has the support of the Trump administration and is expected to win support in the House of Representatives, as well.

Statement of Community Catalyst Executive Director Emily Stewart in response to the legislation:

“We commend the Senate for working tirelessly to provide relief to people and communities across the country that are suffering from the impact of the COVID-19. The agreement they have reached includes important provisions that contribute to people’s health, well-being and economic security, including resources to help people stay in their homes and put food on the table. It also provides essential support for health care workers on the front lines of the crisis and boosts the capacity of hospitals and health systems to respond to rapidly increasing demand for treatment. We appreciate these important provisions.

“We also recognize that there is more that needs to be done. In particular, we must do more to protect people from health-related medical debt and to ensure equitable access to testing and treatment and the necessities of life for everyone. This is particularly urgent for those who stand to lose the most in this crisis, including low-wage workers, people living in rural areas, people with disabilities, immigrants and people of color, who already face unjust and discriminatory barriers to health and economic security. 

“We believe additional action remains urgently needed to address problems and help people left out of this agreement. We are hopeful that going forward there will be greater investments in health coverage and other supports to alleviate financial hardship and promote economic security for all as we work together to overcome this difficult challenge.”


About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.