Washington, D.C.—Tonight, the U.S. Senate passed its third stimulus bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes critical provisions to help the nation’s nonprofits continue to serve the people who rely on their services such as beneficial tax, employment, and economic provisions, including tax incentives to encourage charitable contributions at this unprecedented time. Nonprofits are the third-largest employer sector in the country, with 12 million workers who are at the forefront of helping Americans through difficult times. These charities provide everything from critical patient support to medical and mental health services.
The package also includes dedicated funding for state and local preparedness and response to the pandemic, money to reimburse hospitals and health care providers for COVID-19 related expenses, extended funding for community health centers through November, as well as requiring Medicare drug plans to allow refills for up to a three month supply.
A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“The Senate bill recognizes the essential role of nonprofits in helping people and communities get through and recover from this historic health and economic upheaval. Without help, many charities will not be able to provide the necessary services critical to weathering and recovering from this crisis.
“The American Cancer Society alone has already fielded more than 25,000 calls from cancer patients worried about their health safety and their ability to access care. When our nation recovers from this pandemic, cancer patients will rely on services like free rides to the doctor, free lodging when cancer treatment takes them far from home and always available and trusted cancer information.
“While we welcome the increased resources to support the organizations that are supporting communities and patients through this crisis, we also recognize that this bill alone will be insufficient. Congress should continue to address ongoing challenges cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses face due to the pandemic. They should also provide additional relief, such as increasing and making permanent the tax deduction for charitable donations, so organizations like the American Cancer Society can continue to be an essential part of the nation’s infrastructure and recovery from this historic pandemic. Cancer doesn’t take a break, and neither can we. ACS CAN will continue to work with Congress and the administration to advocate for important patient protections to ensure those who have disruptions in their health coverage can continue to access the care they need when they need it as well as additional relief for the nonprofit sector.”