Provides some relief for the social determinants of health

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was passed and signed last Friday. It includes important provisions to mitigate the sharp economic decline and threat to the social determinants of health unfolding right now.

It includes an expansion of unemployment benefits, direct payments to low- and middle-income families, funds for states to help address the large budget holes and investments across a range of existing programs that can help respond to the current crisis.

Here are some of the specifics:

  • Provides a federally funded $600/week benefit increase through July 31 for people qualifying for unemployment insurance (this is a big deal because Arizona’s existing benefit is the lowest in the country, around $230/week); 

  • Extends unemployment insurance coverage by 13 weeks;

  • Provides (federally funded) unemployment benefits to people that lose their jobs but are ineligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program;

  • Provides cash payments of $1,200 per adult ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 per dependent child age 16 or younger. The rebates phase down gradually for couples with incomes above $150,000 and individuals above $75,000 (and the benefits are limited to people that file tax returns);

  • Give states money (a $150B Coronavirus Relief Fund) that they can draw down for virus-related costs; and

  • $30B for schools and colleges and universities and $3.5 billion for child care.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it. A good summary is in this Center on Budget and Policy Priorities site. Thanks to AzPHA member Lauraine Hanson for finding this good summary resource so fast.

“Everyone is a Keynesian in a Foxhole”

        – University of Chicago’s Robert Lucas, 2009