Washington Update

Inside (the Beltway) Scoop

By: Ellen Kuo
Thursday, April 14, 2022

FASEB Encourages Congress to Pass a COVID-19 Supplemental

FASEB sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to quickly finalize an agreement that provides an additional $10 billion to maintain our preparedness during the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Although lawmakers left for spring recess without a resolution, there is continued hope that upon their return on April 25 new funding will be approved and signed into law. This emergency funding for a federal COVID response was removed from the final Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, which was passed in March to fund the government for fiscal year 2022.

The letter stated that prior allocation of federal funds for COVID-19 response led to the historically successful development of vaccines and new treatments, which are being shared outside the United States. Additionally, the bipartisan efforts of Congress to address the coronavirus pandemic over the last two years need to continue to not only maintain the progress we have achieved thus far, but also to mitigate any further harm, especially as people return to work and school in person. The letter also noted that Asia and Europe are experiencing surges from the BA.2 variant—an omicron subvariant. According to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, the current supply of therapeutics is projected to run out by late May. A special fund created by Congress to reimburse physicians and other providers who provide medical care and COVID-related treatment—especially to uninsured Americans—is also nearly depleted and is expected to cease accepting new claims for vaccination services this month.