To help everyone suffering due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the government introduced several relief measures under the CARES Act spanning from 2020 to 2021. Some of the funds specifically targeted small business loans, while others aid in all sorts of medical assistance services. Citizens also received direct payments. Overall, the distributed fund stood at USD $5.7 trillion at the time. While some have expired, many relief measures are still available. They will continue to be active for perceptibly a long time, given their imminent necessity under the emergency circumstances. So, let’s delve into different aspects of American finances to understand the impact of this emergency relief act.
William D King: Exploring the role of the CARES Act in various spheres
As per the provision of the CARES Act bill, the government announced that people would be able to access affordable therapies, diagnoses, and vaccines. While the term affordable remained undefined, there was a promise of no pricing war for coronavirus treatment. It also stated that one didn’t need to share the cost of their tests or future vaccine. More precisely, you could expect to have tests and vaccines for free for coronavirus. To assist states in achieving this goal, the government allotted USD $20 billion for vaccine purchase and USD $8.75 billion for its distribution. The statewide testing programs also got USD $27 billion.
William D King informs that the first phase of the CARES Act program saw an allocation of USD $20 million funds for small businesses through low-cost SBA loans. The program offered USD $349 billion for tax credits. It also allowed these companies to delay their payroll taxes to continue to pay their employees. Many organizations with 500 or fewer employees got access to an interruption loan system if they paid their workers. Also, the loan forgiveness policy came into effect to allow these companies to retain their workforce and pay operational costs. Under this segment, you found the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the EIDL program, among others.
Under the provision of the first bill, Medicare extended virtual medical assistance to people even if they didn’t live in a rural location or meet other eligibility criteria. The telehealth coverage got an extension till 2023, and there is speculation that telehealth coverage can become a permanent feature.
Under this, the companies needed to pay their employees for two weeks of sick leave caused by the coronavirus infection. Someone with a kid could qualify for paid leaves of up to twelve weeks if they didn’t have a childcare provider or the kid’s school was not operating due to the pandemic. Anyone with symptoms or advised to quarantine could also expect this benefit says William D King.
These are only a tiny glimpse of what different programs under the CARES Act meant and how they helped all the spheres of society. The government took care of everyone’s needs, including students, employers, employees, unemployed people, healthcare, and much more. The emergency relief funds supported many families experiencing a deep financial crisis and helped them survive the storm.