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On Friday, March 27, President Donald J. Trump passed a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to combat the ongoing economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus package contains more money than any similar bill in American history, and the money in the bill is set to help all manner of people and businesses, though some experts say the package might not go far enough. Here’s what’s in the coronavirus stimulus package.
The checks being issued to most Americans ages 18 and older have arguably generated the most discussion of any part of the coronavirus stimulus package. Any American who has filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return showing an annual gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less will receive a $1,200 check sometime in April. Couples who file their taxes jointly will receive a $2,400 check if their combined AGI is $150,000 or less.
Anyone who files taxes as the head of a household can still receive a $1,200 check if their AGI is $112,500 or less, and for each dependent claimed on a tax return, another $500 is added to the check. Americans who earn more than $75,000 but no more than $99,000 will also receive checks, though the amount may be smaller. Single taxpayers who earn more than this amount will receive no checks, just as joint filers with an income of over $198,000 will also not receive checks.
Cash for hospitals
As COVID-19 has spread throughout the U.S., hospitals across the country have become overwhelmed as they take in more patients than they are equipped to handle. In turn, public health officials have demanded that hospitals postpone all elective (non-essential) procedures, a healthcare category that comprises a substantial portion of hospital revenue. Since hospitals are facing both financial and operational hardship, the coronavirus stimulus package includes $100 billion of aid to hospitals. Additionally, hospitals will be paid 20 percent more for any work done with patients on Medicare.
Individual state relief
The coronavirus stimulus bill allocates extra money to state governments, the majority of which have seen massive increases in spending to combat COVID-19. The bill gives different amounts of cash to each state: New York, for example, will receive $7.5 billion, whereas California will receive $15.3 billion. In total, the coronavirus relief bill calls for $150 billion to be distributed among the 50 states.
The money that the coronavirus stimulus bill provides to states may help in the coming weeks, but even proponents of the bill have claimed that more money will be needed after this initial rush. Figures including Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), California governor Gavin Newsom, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, and New Jersey governor Phil Murphy have all said that the bill is just a starting point and that their states will desperately need more money sooner than later.
What measures would you like to see taken in potential future coronavirus stimulus packages? Share your thoughts in the comments, and consider reaching out to your government representatives with suggestions, too.