U.S. Economy, Supply Chains Get Stimulus
The $2 trillion stimulus package hammered out in Washington not only provides much-needed relief to ordinary citizens, but it also takes steps to shore up supply chains, particularly those in the healthcare industry.
According to news reports, the package requires the federal government to create a list of medical devices that are in short supply and calls on the Strategic National Stockpile to maintain the types of medical devices needed to respond to a threat like coronavirus. This would seem to address a concern that just-in-time inventory practices have left the United States (and the rest of the world) flat-footed in the event of pandemics. The bill also calls for study into whether the United States has grown too reliant on foreign-produced healthcare supplies and medicines.
Groups representing many industries praised the bipartisan development, but cautioned more work needs to be done.
“No business should go bankrupt because of the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus, so while this is a good first step, we look forward to working with Congress on the next phase of economic relief,” said Mark Allen, president and CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association. “As a nation, we must support the businesses that make America great.”
“The $100 billion in direct financial support [to hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare providers] and many of the other helpful provisions included in the legislation, were among those sought by the AMA and many other physician organizations along with the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association,” the American Medical Association commented.