More important is the dynamic on the progressive side. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the Progressive Caucus co-chair, objected to the Heroes Act, mainly because her pet project, payroll support for all businesses, was left out. Jayapal does have a concept of the optimal response: keep people connected to their jobs, with the government footing the bill for paychecks. That also keeps people on health insurance and helps keep businesses out of bankruptcy. The pieces fit together, sort of.
The CARES Act didn’t do that. It essentially pushed people onto unemployment, where low-wage workers would earn more than their salary. It also had this Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses to keep people out of unemployment, with their paycheck covered for eight weeks. These programs are almost diametrically opposed. The interim bill extended PPP; in the Heroes Act, the unemployment piece is extended from July to the end of the year. To deal with the uninsured, the Heroes Act subsidizes COBRA, the costliest possible way to maintain insurance rates, really a bailout of that industry.