Federal funds for COVID tests and vaccines are running low
- December 28, 2022
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We’ve been telling you about some of the provisions that made it into the nearly $1.7 trillion federal spending package. But one thing that didn’t? Billions in COVID funding the White House asked for to be used for testing, vaccines and treatments.
The White House has been making this request for months as existing funds were running out.
Now, “the money is gone,” said Kavita Patel, a primary care doctor in Washington, D.C.
The administration has tapped into other, unused COVID funds — to pay for free testing and vaccines a little longer, Patel said.
But for the more than 27 million people who are uninsured, “it’s going to be incredibly hard to deal with COVID, to get tested for it, to get treated.”
If you have insurance, all COVID-related care will soon be like any other health care.
“We’ve been living through an extraordinary time. And we all know that,” said Jen Kates at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“For once in the United States, there was universal coverage for vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID. And that’s normally not how the U.S. health care system works,” she said. “Now we’re going back to how the U.S. health care system generally works.”
That means, she said, there are going to be people who can afford to get care and people who can’t.
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