Federal Agency Ends COVID Coverage for Uninsured After GOP Blocks Funds

A federal agency for health tasked with covering Covid-19 testing and treatment for uninsured Americans officially stopped accepting claims on Wednesday because it is out of funding, a shortfall caused by congressional lawmakers’ failure to approve new coronavirus aid.

Martin Kramer, spokesperson for the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) said in a statement Tuesday that “the lack of funding for Covid-19 needs is having real consequences.”

“We have begun an orderly shutdown of the program,” Kramer said, referring to the HRSA Covid-19 Uninsured ProgramSince the beginning of the pandemic,, has been paying for coronavirus care for uninsured patients.

Nearly 10% of U.S. residents — around 31 million people — don’t have any form of health insurance, according to federal estimates.

HRSA has also warned Recent developments have shown that the Federal Government will be unable to accept coronavirus vaccine reimbursement claims without a rapid infusion.

“Federal coverage for Covid-19 treatment and testing for the uninsured ends today. Coverage for vaccine administration for the uninsured ends in about two weeks,” Adam Gaffney, a critical care doctor at the Cambridge Health Alliance, lamented Follow us on Twitter. “The rationing of Covid-care by ability to pay begins.”

The Biden White House requested more than $20B to purchase new supplies of therapeutics, vaccines, and masks. It also wanted to keep running key pandemic response programmes. However, Republican lawmakers have refused to grant this request. questioned the need for additional Covid-19 money and insisted that any funding be repurposed from existing state programs — a non-starter for Democratic lawmakers who warn This scheme would cause harm to their states.

Ultimately, the Democratic leadership was forced to resign because of disagreements over funding sources. pull around $16 billion in coronavirus aid from a recent omnibus spending package that contained $782 billion for the U.S. military — $29 billion more than President Joe Biden originally requested.

Ronald Klain, White House Chief Of Staff insisted Tuesday that the Biden administration is not “turning the page” on the coronavirus pandemic, which is still killing more than 1,000 people Average of 1.2 per day in the U.S.

“We are keeping businesses and schools open — and reducing hospital and ICU cases — by making vaccines, boosters, treatments, and tests widely available,” Klain said. “And we will continue to do so as long as Congress funds this work.”

But with dozens Because Republicans are refusing to support relief funding, there is no way forward for a standalone coronavirus legislation in the evenly divided Senate.

“We don’t need Covid funding,” Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa.) told The AtlanticHe expressed a common view with GOP lawmakers. “Most people would say we’re done. We have more issues with inflation than Covid right now.”

Vox’s Dylan Matthews wrote Tuesday that if the congressional stalemate over Covid-19 funding persists, “the federal effort to halt the virus could effectively be over, even though the pandemic itself clearly isn’t.”

“That would be a disaster,” Matthews added.

A February Covid-19 funding list obtained By PoliticoMore than $45 billion of $47.8 trillion approved by Congress for mitigation and testing in the American Rescue Plan is currently “obligated or being executed,” $2.6 billion is already allocated, and “none remains available for new initiatives.”