- Posted by Jessica Waltman
- On April 24, 2020
President Trump just signed H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This measure is the fourth installment of federal financial assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes $321 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $60 billion in new funding for the depleted Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Another $100 billion in new funding will go to healthcare providers and to ensure more COVID-19 testing.
The new law directs $321 billion to the PPP to replenish funds in the existing loan program. Importantly, the new law does not change the structure of the PPP, so current loan applications are unaffected and existing eligibility criteria remains unchanged. The only significant change in H.R. 622 related to the PPP is a requirement that $60 billion of the new loan funds flow through smaller and community-based financial institutions.
Beyond the PPP provisions, H.R. 266 creates other sources of funding for businesses and healthcare providers and will expand resources related to COVID-19 tests. A different loan and grant program designed to provide quick cash infusions to small and mid-sized companies, called the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, also ran out of money quickly. The new law provides $60 billion in additional funding. On the public health front, $100 billion will go to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund administered by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Seventy-five billion will be disbursed to healthcare providers and hospitals, and $25 billion will finance COVID-19 testing. One billion dollars must provide finance testing for the uninsured, and $11 billion of the testing money must flow to states and local governments. One of the specified ways state and local governments may use these testing funds is to assist employers with testing at worksites.