The Biden administration is ending a Trump-era program that offered reimbursements for providers offering Covid-19 care to uninsured patients.
Background: In 2020, the Trump administration established the provider relief fund, to help hospitals and community health centers seeing decreased revenue or increased expenses because of the pandemic
Later legislation added about $78 billion in additional funding to the program.
All of the money in the provider relief fund has been allocated however it has not all been paid out.
What Happened: The administration said it will stop accepting claims for treatment and testing for uninsured people Tuesday.
What Hospitals Say: “We support the administration’s request for additional funding to ensure that the healthcare system has the resources it needs to continue to care for their patients, especially as we continue to manage Covid-19 in communities across the nation,” the American Hospital Association, a trade group for the industry, said. “Indeed, while we have made great progress against the virus, nearly 2,000 Americans passed away last week with Covid-19.” (per The Wall Street Journal)
What Democrats Say: “Our concern right now is that we are going to run out of money to provide the types of vaccines, boosters, treatments to the immunocompromised and others free of charge that will help continue to battle” the pandemic, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. (per The Wall Street Journal)
What Republicans Say: Republicans have refused to approve more funding without specifically knowing where the money will be allocated. For months Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for not providing enough clarity into where the money already allocated is going
“Unless it’s paid for and it’s something that 10 Republicans will vote for, it’s hard to see how it passes the Senate,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune said.