Advocacy and Health Policy |

Congress Passes the American Rescue Plan: What You Need To Know


The American Rescue Plan Act, legislation to provide relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law this week. ACOG advocated tirelessly on behalf of our members and the patients they serve to get this unprecedented legislation across the finish line and to ensure it prioritized the needs of our members and their patients. Key provisions affecting your practices and your patients include: 

Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 & Promoting Physician Wellbeing 

  • Vaccines, Testing, and PPE: Provides significant funds to track, administer, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, including funds for diagnosing and tracing COVID-19 infections, and buying and distributing testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Physician Mental Health: Provides funds for mental and behavioral health support to medical professionals impacted by the trauma of the pandemic
  • Workforce Shortages: Provides resources for public health programs that increase access to care and alleviate workforce shortages.  

Supporting Ob-Gyn Practices & Education 

  • Additional Paycheck Protection Funding: Provides additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to provide loans for businesses, now including nonprofit businesses. For more information on the PPP, visit ACOG’s webpage. 
  • Provider Relief Fund: Provides relief funds for rural practices negatively impacted by the pandemic
  • Graduate Medical Education: Provides additional funding for teaching health centers that operate graduate medical education 

Enhancing Patient Access to Care & Addressing Social Determinants of Health 

  • Postpartum Medicaid: Allows states to extend comprehensive Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months. (For more information about this provision, see our analysis
  • Medicaid Expansion: Provides incentives for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid by increasing states’ base federal match by five points for two years if they choose to implement the expansion 
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Under Medicaid: Provides full federal funding for all COVID-19 vaccines administered to people covered by the Medicaid program 
  • Title X: Provides increased funding to support Title X, the only federal grant program dedicated exclusively to providing low-income and adolescent patients with essential family planning and preventative health services, for the first time since 2014
  • Support for individuals and families: Includes assistance for low-income individuals and those struggling as a result of the pandemic and economic fall-out, including: rental assistance, homelessness assistance, funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, funds for SNAP programs, and funds for rental assistance including emergency housing vouchers for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence and victims of human trafficking.