White House Says Funding for Testing and Vaccines for Uninsured May Run Out Soon

The White House announced Tuesday the possibility that the government will soon cease providing free COVID tests, vaccines, and treatments for uninsured individuals. This is because Congress has not approved additional funding to address this pandemic in recent spending bills.

If COVID funding continues to stall, providers won’t be able to submit claims for COVID testing and treatments starting next week, the White House warned. In April, the program will run dry and people without health insurance will no longer be able to get COVID vaccinations for free.

People without health insurance have been at a higher riskThere is a high chance of dying from COVID in the pandemic. If this program is not funded, it will cause even more disparities in the health outcomes of insured and uninsured persons, leaving them to struggle for survival in the face of a pandemic. that is still taking the lives of over a thousand people on average each day.

Pfizer would be the first to suffer funding cuts is seekingA senior may be authorized to receive an additional dose of COVID and that a fourth dose may be considered. eventually be necessary for everyoneTo have immunity against severe infections and death. People without insurance will have to pay for the vaccine out of pocket. This could make it more difficult to get the booster and increase the risk of spreading the virus.

COVID treatments may not be possible for people who do not have insurance. Receiving the actual drug for monoclonal antibody treatmentThe treatment is currently free to all, but there are still costs for administration. Treatments like Regeneron may be out of pocket. between $3,000 and $5,000 a dose, some experts estimate.

Last week, the government was forced to shut down and provide assistance to Ukraine. The House passedA government funding bill that included a $15.6 billion provision for COVID assistance as the country enters its third year of the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) described the exclusion as “heartbreaking.” Democrats have pledged to bring the funding to a separate vote.

After Republicans defeated it, the funding was cut. refused to approveNew spending to tackle the pandemic. Democrats proposed reappropriating some of the funding left over from last year’s pandemic stimulus, but that upset members of both parties from states that would have lost out on funding under that proposal.

“Republicans resisted this deeply needed funding, demanding that every cent requested by the Administration be offset, including through state and local funds scheduled to be released this spring,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues at the time.

It is cruel to put uninsured people in the crosshairs for COVID because $15 billion in government spending was approved. Voted to spend$782 billion for military funding in the single bill 52 times the pandemic funding proposed.

Though Republicans don’t seem to take issue with the fact that the Department of Defense has never passed an audit and hides hundreds of billions of dollarsThey demanded that the White House be included in spending. able to account forAll details of the COVID proposal that it submitted to Congress, originally valued at $22.5 billion. They also cited concerns regarding the deficit to support their opposition.

Even if the spending would have added significantly to the deficit, which it likely wouldn’t have, economists have said that a worldwide pandemic that has killed nearly a million people in the U.S. is a perfect reasonTo increase the deficit.

Data also shows that current concerns regarding the deficit are completely unfounded. In fact, research has shown that the deficit will actually decrease by over $1 trillion by 2022. This is something Congress’ so-called deficit hawks conveniently ignore.