Congress Passes Spending Bill with Ebola Funding

The House and Senate recently passed a $1 trillion spending bill to fund most government agencies through September 2015, including $5.4 billion in emergency domestic and international Ebola funding.

The bill creates a variety of Ebola funding streams that hospitals may be eligible to access. GNYHA is working to determine how the funding streams will be allocated, but below are some initial provisions that are of significance to GNYHA members.

  • A "Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund" receives $733 million for domestic and international use, which includes $576 million for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). A portion of the ASPR funds could be used "for the renovation and alteration of privately owned facilities to improve preparedness and response capability at the State and local level." The money would remain available until September 30, 2019.

  • HHS receives $166 million to implement a regional strategy for designating treatment centers.

  • The Hospital Preparedness Program also receives additional funding.

  • An appropriation of $10 million for worker-based training to minimize exposure of hospital employees, first responders, and others at risk.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives $1.77 billion through September 30, 2019, which could be used for the "transportation, medical care, treatment, and other related costs of persons quarantined or isolated under Federal or State quarantine law."

  • The bill allows Ebola funds to be transferred to other accounts at the CDC, ASPR, or the National Institutes of Health for approved purposes, creating more flexibility.

  • The HHS Secretary must provide a spending plan within 30 days of the bill’s enactment.

GNYHA vigorously advocated for significant Ebola funding for US hospitals to help them cover the enormous preparedness costs they have incurred. GNYHA worked closely with New York State, New York City, and our national and local advocacy partners to ensure  Congress was aware of the enormous financial undertaking the Ebola response has been and will continue to be for GNYHA members.

Now that the funding bill has passed, GNYHA will work with our partners to press the Administration to provide adequate Ebola funding for our members through the mechanisms created by the bill.