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The Senate and House passed an interim deal this week to replenish funding for the small-business and emergency disaster loans established in March by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. President Trump was expected to swiftly sign the fourth legislative relief package.
The new funding adds another $320 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses to cover qualifying payroll expenses. The first round of $349 billion in funding was depleted last week signaling that millions more American businesses are in dire need of financial relief.
CDA is pleased that $60 billion of that funding is designated for smaller lending institutions such as community banks and credit unions to help underbanked business and underserved communities. Many small businesses had difficulty accessing the first round of funding if they did not have existing business relationships with large banks. A majority of dental practices in California have 10 or fewer employees.
The new bill also adds:
The stimulus package passed a few weeks ago appropriated $100 billion in the pool of money for health care providers, of which the first $30 billion was allocated by the secretary of Health and Human Services to hospitals and Medicare providers.
CDA and ADA advocated that future funds should be made available to dentists and other safety net providers who do not bill the Medicare program. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said on a call with reporters on Wednesday the agency will distribute the next tranche of money for skilled nursing facilities and providers who rely primarily on Medicaid. The HHS indicated “there are some providers who will receive further, separate funding, including skilled nursing facilities, dentists, and providers that solely take Medicaid.” HHS did not specify the allocation levels or process for these providers, yet.
CDA will continue to work with federal and state policymakers to ensure that dental offices dramatically affected by the pandemic will be considered for support from the health care provider funds.
For more on CDA’s advocacy and assistance for dentists during the pandemic, visit CDA’s COVID-19 information center.