O'Halleran, Energy and Commerce Committee, Vote to Approve Billions in COVID-19 Relief Funding for Arizona Health Care Systems, Tribes

February 12, 2021
Press Release

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK – This week, in a House Energy and Commerce Full Committee markup on legislative recommendations for the FY 2021 Budget Reconciliation process, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to advance billions in funding for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and public health infrastructure and resources.

“We are almost a year into this pandemic; our health care systems have been stretched to a breaking point and COVID-19 vaccination and mitigation efforts lack adequate federal funding to effectively reach entire communities, especially in rural, tribal, and medically-underserved areas,” said O’Halleran following the markup. “This week, we took important steps toward delivering the relief our health care systems and communities need to continue the fight against COVID-19. As we move forward with the budget reconciliation process, I’m committed to working with my colleagues to get a good bipartisan package across the finish line for Arizonans.”

Provisions within the legislative package approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee include:

  • $14.8 billion for COVID-19 vaccine research, distribution, administration, and education,
    • including $600 million for the Indian Health Service (IHS);
  • $49.75 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and mitigation,
    • including $1.5 billion for IHS;
  • $7.84 billion to support and expand our country’s public health workforce,
    • including $240 million for IHS;
  • $4.3 billion to develop and expand accessibility of mental health and substance abuse resources,
    • including $420 million for IHS mental and behavioral health prevention and treatment services;
  • $14.081 billion to address health disparities and protect vulnerable populations,
    • including $3.3 billion to support lost third party-revenue;
  • $500 million for Purchased and Referred Care for tribal communities;
  • $140 million for telehealth, IT, and updates to the Indian Health Service records system;
  • $84 million for Urban Indian Health Organizations,
    • including two years of 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP);
  • $10 million for potable water in tribal communities;
  • $7.6 billion for the FCC’s E-Rate program to provide increased connectivity and access to connected devices necessary for students in their homes to successfully distance learn; and
  • $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to assist eligible households in affording heating and cooling services.

A full breakdown of funding and provisions secured by O’Halleran and the Energy and Commerce Committee during the markup can be found, HERE.

Full text of Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Sections considered by the Committee:

  • Subtitle A: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Public Health
  • Subtitle B: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Medicaid
  • Subtitle C: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to CHIP
  • Subtitle D: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Other Provisions

Within the full $1.9 trillion package, House Committees of jurisdiction also voted to approve the following provisions for tribes:

  • $20 billion for tribal governments through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF);
  • $850 million for the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE);
  • $850 million for Indian Housing through the NAHASDA; and
  • additional USDA support for Tribal Colleges and Universities.