Take What’s Yours From the Government’s Pandemic Relief
One thing the pandemic hasn’t changed is the government’s inability to make a decent financial plan.
In March, the CARES Act passed in Congress, setting into motion another example of poor planning for government spending.
For starters, the CARES Act allocated $139 billion to all 50 states, with a plan to distribute it based on population. Fair enough, but it didn’t account for where the virus had already hit. Remember, by the time the president signed the bill into law on March 27, we’d already seen thousands and thousands of cases in the U.S. by then.
Here’s what that looked like on March 27. These five states got the most funding:
So the worst-hit state, New York, got less than half of the funding that went to California. But it gets worse… the No. 2 state for highest number of cases? New Jersey. It received just $3.4 billion. The same goes for Louisiana, which saw a hotspot early on in New Orleans. It had the ninth-highest case number, but only received $1.8 billion. That’s barely over the $1.25 billion baseline that went to every state.
You might think, this is just the beginning. Surely they gave more to hotspot states for medical relief.
You’d be wrong.
That’s because the Provider Relief Fund directed another $175 billion to hospitals and health care providers to help with added costs from coronavirus.
But the first $30 billion had already gone out… and it went to hospitals based on how much Medicare revenue they generated in 2019, before we even knew the coronavirus was here.
That means places like West Virginia got a big payout, but had very few COVID-19 patients.
This is more evidence that our government doesn’t have a clue about how to support us during a pandemic. We’re talking billions of dollars doled out without a rational plan to help the areas hit the hardest by the virus.
Many will say the government should have been better prepared for a pandemic. And that it should have reacted faster.
But that’s a topic for another day… And I imagine countless books and shows on Netflix will cover all these financial debacles in the years to come.
Today, I want to talk about something even more important: You.
I want you to understand what’s really happening with government relief bills like the CARES Act… how to take advantage of what’s offered… and how to get through the coming months.
Despite all of the government’s actions, many households are still struggling.
With at least a quarter of the U.S. economy idle during this shutdown, more than 40 million people have filed for unemployment in the last 10 weeks.
Recently, news broke that mortgage forbearance requests skyrocketed nearly 2,000%. And according to a recent survey by market research company YouGov, 11% of U.S. adults said they couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage for April. Another 7% said they were unsure if they could. Many states have banned evictions for a while.
Think about how many folks won’t be able to afford their summer payments.
Thankfully, there is some relief for average folks. You see, the CARES Act didn’t just point out how to spend billions on states and hospitals. It also included measures to help individuals just like you.
But like many bills, the CARES Act is complicated. That’s why my team put together a report that outlines only what you need to know and how it can help you.
What We’re Reading…
- How the CARES Act bailed out airlines.
- Something different: We’re glad to see more progress in cancer research!
Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
July 14, 2020