Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society urges Congress to pass COVID-19 relief for states and localities

Massachusetts Medical Society urges Congress to pass COVID-19 relief for states and localities

As COVID-19 cases surge in Massachusetts and across the country, states, and localities are increasing their response efforts, but those efforts are severely hindered because states haven’t received the federal funding they so desperately need.

Already, states have led the response to this pandemic. From setting up testing sites to contact tracing programs to food assistance, states and localities have provided their residents with resources to survive this crisis. States had to make painful but prudent decisions to close large parts of their economies to curb the spread of the virus. State and local budgets have been upended as a result and are facing huge deficits that require federal relief. In Massachusetts, a lack of federal funding to stand up COVID-19 response programs and critical services has already caused lasting harm and further delay will hurt all residents, especially our most vulnerable and disproportionately affected patients.

It is past time for Congress to act and assure that our patients and all those who need care are supported and given every opportunity to access the vital resources they urgently need to remain healthy during the pandemic.

We appreciate that Congress acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to provide some state and local funding, but the initial round will not sustain us as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Congress has been debating a subsequent COVID-19 relief package for over six months with no action. COVID -19 does not care about political party. So we must put aside partisan differences and act quickly to protect residents across the country.

We commend our Massachusetts congressional delegation, whose members have been at the forefront of advocating with their colleagues in Congress for additional state and federal COVID-19 relief. We are proud of their efforts and we look forward to working together with our delegation on behalf of all patients and physicians to pass a COVID-19 relief package this session.

-David A. Rosman, MD, MBA, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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