January 29, 2021

Cortez Masto’s Week in Review: Coronavirus Mitigation and Behavioral Health Resources

Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) supported numerous pieces of legislation and Congressional efforts to improve Nevadans’ access to health care and mental health services during the coronavirus pandemic.    

“The coronavirus pandemic is still taking an incredible toll on Nevadans’ physical and mental health. This week, I focused on introducing legislation to improve health care services for struggling Nevadans, from a bill that would make health insurance more affordable to legislation to help expand the capacity of virtual peer behavioral health support programs. The health and well-being of Nevada families is my number one priority, and I’ll continue doing all I can in the Senate to help the Silver State weather this pandemic and emerge stronger.”                                                                                         


Senator Cortez Masto introduced the following legislation to improve health care for Nevadans:

  • The Virtual Peer Support Act to help boost the capacity of peer behavioral health support programs by providing $50 million in grant funding to help these programs transition to an online setting.
  • Bipartisan legislation, the Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act of 2021, with Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.). This bill will facilitate Medicare Advantage enrollees’ access to telehealth during the pandemic, even if they can only make an audio connection to providers.                             
  • The Dependent Income Exclusion Act to make health insurance more affordable for families with children who have part-time jobs or are enrolled in job training programs. Congressman Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Bipartisan legislation with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to reimburse ambulance providers for services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries during the coronavirus pandemic, even when the patient isn’t moved. 

Senator Cortez Masto also recently announced over $177 million for COVID-19 prevention and contact tracing and applauded President Biden for taking action to increase the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Nevada.

Senator Cortez Masto also announced her intent to cosponsor the following legislation: