Rep. Lee’s Provisions to Increase Aid for Nevada Medicaid, Local Governments Pass in Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) joined her House colleagues in helping pass the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), a comprehensive coronavirus response package that would protect the lives and livelihoods of Nevadans. 

The Heroes Act also increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), or the share of Medicaid costs borne by the federal government. Rep. Lee has been a vocal advocate for securing this funding to expand health care access in southern Nevada. H.R. 6800 includes another provision for which Rep. Lee strongly advocated that would expand stabilization funds for smaller communities with populations of fewer than 500,000, which were excluded from CARES Act relief. Smaller cities in Nevada’s 3rd District, like Henderson and Boulder City, would directly benefit from this aid.

“The scope of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on our public health system and economy is unprecedented,” said Rep. Lee. “Working families have been left unable to make ends meet, businesses risk laying off staff and closing permanently, and students are left wondering what the future of their education will look like. The Heroes Act sets a strong marker that this Congress is prepared to continue to get resources to our state and local communities to ensure that our economy will recover and jobs will be saved. The Heroes Act will provide approximately $8 billion in desperately needed relief to Nevada. This relief will help keep teachers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and others from facing massive budget cuts and layoffs. While this bill is imperfect, I could not vote to derail this critical aid that will support direct services in our communities.

“I’m proud that many key coronavirus response provisions I have advocated for are reflected in the Heroes Act,” Rep. Lee continued. “I have been a vocal advocate for increasing federal funding for Medicaid during this crisis, getting critical funding to community health centers, and fighting for smaller cities and municipalities like Henderson and Boulder City to get direct relief. This bill represents a first step in negotiating a bipartisan package and I urge Senate Republicans and Democrats alike to work together to pass these much-needed provisions.”

BACKGROUND: In addition to the Medicaid and community relief provisions highlighted above, the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800) includes the following of Rep. Lee’s priorities:  

  • State/Local Funding Can Be Used for Lost Revenues – This provision is particularly important for Nevada’s budget shortfalls and extreme tax revenue losses relative to other states. 
  • E-Rate – Rep. Lee co-sponsored the Emergency Educational Connections Act, which would establish and provide funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which ensures funding for students to access telecommunications equipment for remote learning during the public health emergency declared because of COVID-19. This bill is included as a provision of the Heroes Act. 
  • Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Provision for Education Funding – The Heroes Act includes language that makes state funding conditional upon supporting MOE for education, so governors will not supplant education funds.  

The Heroes Act is a more than $3 trillion bill that would protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its many provisions, the bill would also provide the following: 

  • State Local, Territorial, and Tribal Government Relief - The Heroes Act would honor our heroes, by providing nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments that desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs. 
  • Heroes’ Fund - The Heroes Act would establish a Heroes’ Fund for essential workers, with $200 billion to ensure that essential workers who have risked their lives working during the pandemic receive hazard pay. 
  • Supporting Testing, Tracing, and Treatment - The Heroes Act would provide another $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers.  
  • Additional Direct Payments - The Heroes Act would cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household. 
  • Protecting Payrolls - The Heroes Act would enhance the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits. 
  • Ensuring Worker Safety - The Heroes Act would require OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, and would prevent employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems. 
  • Supporting Small Businesses and Nonprofits - The Heroes Act would strengthen the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 
  • Preserving Health Coverage - The Heroes Act would protect Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage and would create a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans. 
  • Extending Unemployment Benefits - The Heroes Act would ensure weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed.  
  • Bolstering Housing Assistance: The Heroes Act would help struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.  
  • Strengthening Food Security - The Heroes Act would address rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Safeguarding Our Democracy - The Heroes Act would include new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.

The Heroes Act follows the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the  Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.