HLC Newsletter

American Rescue Plan Contains Critical Elements to Address Current, Future Public Health Crises, Health Leaders Say

Several Provisions in COVID-19 Relief Bill Were Included in Disaster Preparedness, Response Recommendations Developed by 100 Health, Employer, Patient Organizations

WASHINGTON – The president of the Healthcare Leadership Council today praised Congress and the Biden Administration for taking several important steps through the passage and signing of the American Rescue Plan legislation to strengthen the nation’s ability to address the current COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for possible future public health crises.

“We have learned important lessons over the past year since the public health emergency was declared and it’s vital that we use that knowledge to prepare for future crises,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have relied upon the extraordinary heroism of healthcare professionals and first responders.  We need to elevate our preparedness to a degree that means the extraordinary is not as necessary.”

On February 4, the Healthcare Leadership Council and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, working with 100 companies and organizations, released a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve disaster preparedness and response, focusing on steps to strengthen care delivery, improve data generation and dissemination, and modernize the healthcare supply chain.  Several of the recommendations are included in the American Rescue Plan, including:

  • $20 billion for vaccination research and development, purchasing, distribution, and public awareness
  • $10 billion to improve domestic production of personal protective equipment
  • Almost $48 billion for contact tracing, testing, and mitigation
  • $1.75 billion for genomic surveillance
  • $500 million to modernize public health information technology systems
  • $800 million to bolster the National Health Service Corps
  • $7.6 billion to hire additional public health employees
  • $750 million for COVID-19 research

Ms. Grealy said this legislation is just the beginning of the work that must be done by the private sector and on legislative and regulatory fronts to prepare for future catastrophes and major public health challenges.

“We can appreciate the nimbleness and speed with which policymakers and private sector healthcare companies alike had to employ in dealing with the rapidly-evolving demands caused by COVID-19,” she said, “but we should meet future crises with policies, procedures, and practices already in place that are ready to be deployed. The time to develop that level of preparedness is now.”




For Immediate Release
March 12, 2021
Contact: Kelly Fernandez  202-449-3452