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January 26, 2021

Around the nation: Biden issues executive orders for faster relief checks, higher wages, and expanded food aid

Daily Briefing

    President Biden on Friday signed two executive orders aimed at easing economic hardships tied to America's coronavirus epidemic, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Florida, and New Mexico.

    • District of Columbia: President Biden on Friday signed two executive orders aimed at easing economic hardships tied to America's coronavirus epidemic by raising wages for certain workers, increasing the amount of money received through federal food assistance programs, and accelerating the distribution of stimulus checks to Americans who haven't yet received them. According to the New York Times, roughly eight million Americans have yet to receive the $1,200 stimulus checks approved by Congress in March of last year and the $600 checks approved in December 2020. "It's not just to meet the moral obligation," Biden said in regards to the executive orders. "This is an economic imperative" (Tankersley/Rappeport, New York Times, 1/22; Bose/Chiacu, Reuters, 1/22).
    • Florida: The Miami Heat last week announced it will be using coronavirus-sniffing dogs to allow some fans to attend the NBA team's upcoming games. According to the team, about 1,500 season ticket holders will be allowed to attend Thursday's game. The dogs, which will be present at Thursday's game, have been trained to sit down next to a person if they detect the presence of the novel coronavirus on the person. If a dog indicates the virus's presence on a person attempting to attend a game, that person and their party will be denied entry, the Heat said (Pitofsky, The Hill, 1/24).
    • New Mexico: Nicole Comeaux, New Mexico's Medicaid director, on Friday told a panel of lawmakers that the state leads the country in Medicaid enrollment. Comeaux said that, as of November 2020, the state's Medicaid enrollment had hit 43%. Further, she said enrollment in the state's Medicaid program had grown by about 1.5% each month since the start of America's coronavirus epidemic (Lee, Associated Press, 1/22).

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