The Biden administration has passed and signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which contains a plethora of moneys targeted to people, businesses, and health systems impacted by the pandemic. According to the, the bill would bring the amount of COVID-related spending since December 2020 to $3 trillion (14% of prepandemic GDP) and to $6 trillion since the start of the pandemic. This type of stimulus (regarded as income, not savings, by most people) will generate unprecedented consumer spending. The risk, of course, is inflation, rising interest rates, and long-term debt.
That said, there is substantial funding targeting scientific research, vaccine distribution, public health entities, global health initiatives, rural health care, and a variety of other health-related issues. By my rough estimation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will see $12 billion in incremental funding, $10 billion for public health projects including $3 billion for community health centers and federally qualified health centers, and over $3 billion for mental and behavioral health. The Department of Health & Human Services will see substantial funding for a variety of projects. Teaching health centers will see $330 million additional funds (including a $10,000 per-resident increase and payments to establish new graduate residency training programs).
The impact on low-income families and childhood poverty will be substantial and reverses the philosophical underpinning of recent welfare reforms. U.S. welfare dates back to the early 1900s and the philosophical foundation has evolved over time. According to the Constitutional Rights Foundation (
John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF
Editor in Chief