Bucks County Reps. Tina Davis, John Galloway, and Perry Warren have announced the unanimous passing of H.B. 253. The legislation provides the support needed for healthcare professionals who have fought on the front lines of a pandemic for almost two years.
H.B. 253 delivers $225 million in federal money set aside by the American Rescue Plan for healthcare employees.
“Nurses and healthcare workers in Bucks County have selflessly sacrificed for the greater good since the first days of the pandemic,” House Democratic Caucus Secretary Tina Davis said. “I am proud to support this measure to help dedicated nurses and provide the money needed to help [them] and improve healthcare in Bucks County… .”
Provisions of the bill include:
- $110 million to hospitals that provide behavioral health services to serve numerous medical assistance clients or rural locations
- $100 million needed for retention and recruitment funds for direct-care staff
- $15 million for student loan forgiveness provided to nurses
“The pandemic placed additional stresses on society, resulting in a rise of mental health issues,” Rep. Galloway said. “Throughout the commonwealth, behavioral health provider staff have been addressing the increased need for care for nearly two years without a break. They have literally saved lives but at a cost to their own health.
“Thanks to this legislation, these heroes will get the additional assistance needed to continue to provide lifesaving care to our families and communities.”
“The past two years have been a challenge for everyone and perhaps most of all for our healthcare workers,” Rep. Warren said. “Yet, whether in hospitals or in public or private healthcare settings, our dedicated healthcare workers have come to work every day, caring for the sick, preserving health, and saving lives.
“This bill recognizes their commitment and will help Pennsylvania health care providers retain and recruit essential front-line workers,” he concluded.