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CARES Act in the States: Targeting New Health Funding in a Time of Crisis

This commentary discusses the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and how policymakers can make informed decisions about how best to target these resources.

Policymakers will need to weigh the extraordinary needs states are confronting against the federal criteria stipulating when and how states can spend these dollars and consider all the funding that will soon be available directly or indirectly to states in order to make difficult decisions amid many competing interests. The massive new law includes direct payments to individuals, unemployment assistance, and an array of other supports, including significant new funding for health services.