Law will provide paid sick leave and free Coronavirus testing, and expand food assistance and unemployment benefits.

On March 18, 2020, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA, H.R. 6201) was signed into law. Largely aimed at providing relief to consumers and facilitating social distancing, this law expands Medicaid and unemployment benefits, orders free coronavirus testing, and mandates paid sick leave and childcare leave for certain employees. The National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC) recommended swift passage of the original version of this law on March 16, 2020.

FFCRA is the second phase in Congress and the Administration’s efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis, following the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020” (H.R. 6074) which focused on supporting health care providers to combat the spread of the virus. Congress is now turning its attention to a “phase three” stimulus package intended to address the economic impacts of the crisis.

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