White House Statement on Termination of Emergencies
The White House announced in a statement on Monday that it would terminate both the public health and national emergencies declared in response to Covid on May 11th. The statement expressed the White House's opposition to House Republican legislation that aims to immediately end the emergency declarations.
Impact on Health Care System
The public health and national emergencies have allowed hospitals and nursing homes to respond more flexibly during Covid surges, enabling enrollment in Medicaid to surge. The Health and Human Services Department has promised to give states 60 days' notice before ending the emergency to allow the healthcare system to prepare for a return to normal.
Concerns Over Abrupt Termination
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expressed concern over the Republican legislation that aims to abruptly end the emergencies, stating it would create chaos and uncertainty in the healthcare system and result in disruptions in care and payment delays. The OMB also warned of revenue losses for facilities and confusion in the winding down of Medicaid-coverage protections.
Transition to Private Market
The White House is planning to transition the Covid vaccines to the private market, though the exact timing is unclear. This means the cost of the vaccines will be covered by patients' insurance policies instead of the federal government. Vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna and Pfizer may charge up to $130 per dose, quadruple what the federal government pays.