Administration Agrees to Release More Coronavirus Relief after Sinema Calls for More Funding to Underserved Arizona Communities

Jun 22, 2020

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and a bipartisan group of Senators urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately distribute CARES Act funding and other coronavirus relief to health care providers serving low income patients and underserved Arizona communities. Following Sinema’s calls, HHS agreed to distribute an additional $15 billion to eligible providers participating in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) who have not previously received provider relief funding, another $10 billion to safety net hospitals serving vulnerable populations, and an additional $10 billion for facilities serving a high number of hospitalized coronavirus patients. In Arizona, 10 Safety Net Hospitals received nearly $227 million.
“Health care providers in underserved Arizona communities serve on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The administration responded to my ask to immediately release critical coronavirus resources so our health care providers can continue keeping Arizonans safe,” said Sinema.
The CARES Act and the subsequent Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided a combined $175 billion to the provider health care relief fund as a part of the coronavirus response. Two months later, HHS had only distributed $75 billion of the $175 billion, and the first distributions were weighted heavily to traditional Medicare providers, with smaller distributions to hard-hit hospitals, tribal providers, rural facilities, and skilled nursing. There has been no significant support for Medicaid providers in Arizona until now at Sinema’s urging. The impact of the coronavirus has been greater on low-income populations served by Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), and ensuring health care providers who serve Medicaid patients receive funding will help keep those health care centers’ doors open. Sinema’s bipartisan letter to HHS and CMS asked them to distribute CARES Act and other coronavirus funding to health care providers who largely serve Medicaid patients and underserved communities.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website,, with specific resources for Arizona seniors looking for the latest information on coronavirus.