HARRISBURG – January 26, 2022 – The PA Senate Democrats were proud to pass legislation yesterday that will provide $225 million in funding to Pennsylvania hospitals and health care providers. This funding comes through the federal American Rescue Plan and final passage is expected in the House of Representatives later today.
“Our health care workers have been pushed to capacity physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally these last two years as we battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only do they deserve our support and continued advocacy for every eligible person to get vaccinated, but they also need the resources to continue this battle against Covid-19,” Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa said.
There will be $100 million allocated for the retention and recruitment of direct care hospital employees, $110 million for recruitment and retention of staff at behavioral health providers, high Medicaid hospitals, and critical access hospitals.
There will also be a $15 million allocation to PHEAA for further loan forgiveness for Pennsylvania nurses. This is in addition to previous funds Senate Democrats advocated for to forgive up to $7,500 of Pennsylvania nurses – a program designed and championed by Senator-and-nurse Maria Collett last year.
House Bill 253, which allocates this funding, will also create an 11-member task force for addressing the impact of opioid abuse on children.
“As we continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, we see the toll this takes on our health care professionals, our hospitals, and our communities. The Senate Democratic Caucus will continue fighting for the resources our communities need to stay safe, and we encourage all who can to get vaccinated to help end this pandemic and the effects it is having on our health care professionals,” Sen. Costa said.