- The Biden administration will allow the ongoing Covid-19 emergency declarations to end on May 11, the White House announced on Monday, as the U.S. shifts away from responding to the pandemic as a national crisis and instead manage the virus more like a seasonal respiratory disease.
- The Trump Administration declared a COVID-19 national and public health emergency (PHE) in 2020.
- The Health and Human Services Department has promised to give states 60 days' notice before ending the emergency so the healthcare system can prepare to return to normal.
- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said abruptly ending the emergencies in the way laid out in the Republican legislation would "create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system."
- Terminating the declarations without giving hospitals time to adjust would lead to "disruptions in care and payment delays, and many facilities around the country will experience revenue losses," according to the OMB statement.
- OMB said it would also "sow confusion and chaos" while winding down the Medicaid-coverage protections.
- Congress has failed for months to pass a White House request for $22.5 billion in additional funding for the Covid response.
- The cost of COVID-19 vaccines is also expected to increase once the government stops buying them.
- Moderna Inc MRNA and Pfizer Inc PFE have said they may charge as much as $130 per dose of vaccine, quadruple what the federal government pays.
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