Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

$412 Billion in COVID Funds Are Earmarked for the Health Industry

Aug 26, 2020 | Health Care

Our brand new, state-of-the-art interactive COVID Money Tracker tool follows every dollar authorized and spent by Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the Administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health and economic crisis. 

A large portion of the money allocated thus far has gone to the health industry. Our estimates find that at least $412 billion of relief has been authorized – including $312 billion through legislative actions, $100 billion through administrative actions, and at least $331 million through Federal Reserve actions. So far, roughly $291 billion (71 percent) of financial support to the health industry has been disbursed or committed. Once the loans and advances are repaid, we expect a net deficit impact of roughly $312 billion under current law.

About three quarters of funding for the health care industry – including roughly $300 billion of the $412 billion authorized and roughly $220 billion of the $291 billion disbursed or committed – is in the form of direct relief to hospitals and other health care providers.

On the legislative side, this includes a $175 billion provider relief fund, $117 billion of which has been committed or disbursed, along with some additional relief from repealing the Medicare sequester, modifying post-acute payments, and expanding telehealth coverage.

On the Administrative side, relief includes $100 billion of advanced payments to Medicare providers, which will ultimately have to be repaid with interest.

Loan programs explain at least $58 billion of additional funds authorized and disbursed to the health industry. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has paid out $57.9 billion of forgivable loans to small businesses in the health industry. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has purchased at least $319 million of large health care company bonds through its Corporate Credit Facility (this number is likely higher, as we only track bond purchases above $4 million) and provided at least $11.7 million to support a loan to a dental company under the Main Street Lending program. It is likely the health industry has received $10 billion to $20 billion or more in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) - assuming proportionality to the PPP; however, we do not yet track these loans by industry.

Remaining authorized funds include roughly $32 billion to support COVID-19 preparedness and response, nearly $9 billion of health-related tax breaks, and several billion of additional spending. At this time, we are unable to track the precise amount disbursed from most of these funds.

Lawmakers have also committed $11.2 billion toward vaccine research, development, and manufacturing - including $2.5 billion to Moderna, $2.1 billion to GlaxoSmithKline, $2.0 billion to Pfizer, $1.6 billion to Novavax, $1.5 billion to Johnson & Johnson, $1.2 billion to Astrazeneca, and $450 million to Regeneron Therapeutic. 

As our COVID Money Tracker tool shows, some of these companies have also received indirect support through the Federal Reserve's corporate bond-buying program. Through our interactive tool, you can currently view individual recipients of Federal Reserve funds and other programs - and we're adding more detail every week.

Importantly, the health industry is just one of many that has received financial support through various COVID relief measures. You can explore this and other support through our new interactive COVID Money tracker tool.

This blog post is a product of the COVID Money Tracker, a new initiative of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget focused on identifying and tracking the disbursement of the trillions being poured into the economy to combat the crisis through legislative, administrative, and Federal Reserve actions.