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THE BETRAYAL OF HEALTH

CONGRESS FAILS TO RENEW COVID FUNDING

What is real defense? Defense is keeping a country's citizens safe. So far, over a million Americans have died of Covid-19. One would think funding for Covid-19 would be a key national security priority for our leaders. Instead, the government has allocated zero new aid for Covid in the budget.


Update 11/23/22 - Biden Administration Requests Congress Approve Covid Funding in 2023

The President Requests Emergency Supplemental Funding for Covid 19 (The White House, 11-15-22)

In this letter, the Biden Administration requests that Congress approves funding for Covid 19 in 2023. The request includes the need to fight new subvariants and to combat the virus globally by increasing access to the vaccine.

Letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi From the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (PDF)

This letter is a request for $9 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to address the ongoing Covid-19 virus, provide vaccines for the uninsured and underinsured, restore the smallpox vaccine supply used during the monkeypox response, and also to treat HIV and Hepatitis C.

There is also an additional request in this letter for $1 billion for Global Health Programs to provide Covid-19 vaccines and treatment for other illnesses, such as HIV. While $1 billion is better than nothing, this is far less than what is needed. As we state below in this report, experts have said that the U.S. needs to dedicate anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion to help keep the globe vaccinated against Covid.


Biden Administration Shifts Covid Costs to Patients and Insurers

The Biden administration is planning for an end to its practice of paying for Covid-19 shots and treatments, shifting more control of pricing and coverage to the healthcare industry in ways that could generate sales for companies—and costs for consumers—for years to come. (Wall Street Journal, 8-18-22)

The Department of Health and Human Services intends to hold a planning session on Aug. 30 that would bring together representatives from drugmakers, pharmacies and state health departments with a stake in a Covid-19 treatment industry. (Wall Street Journal, 8-18-22)

Also see: 'Terrible Idea': Biden Preparing to Shift Costs of Covid Treatments, Vaccines to Patients (Common Dreams, 8-19-22)

No New Money For Covid

No new money has been appropriated for domestic Covid spending. The Manchin-Schumer bill, officially called the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022," does nothing to address the need for universal health coverage. It did not even remove the ban on buying health insurance outside of a limited period for Affordable Health Care (Obamacare) and Medicare Part D. It did continue some Obamacare subsidies but this is far from what is needed. It approved no new funding for COVID at home and abroad. The bill does nothing about health care in general.

This is a dysfunctional situation. When will Covid aid be passed? We don't know because the Senate doesn't come back until the second week of September and that's going to be very busy. So this is a failure of the system.

How many more have to die in the U.S. for our government to take this threat seriously? 2 million? 3 million?

We urge Congress to come back as soon as possible and to fund Covid. Congress should find a bipartisan solution to this crisis.


Congress Cuts Commitment to Vaccinating Globe To Zero

Already President Biden's commitment to vaccinating the globe was cut to a level way below where it should be. It was already cut from $5 billion to $4.25 billion. And now Congress has approved zero new aid.

The decision to ditch the global virus aid was a complete betrayal of public health. There is now no clear path to deliver money that was intended to help bolster global vaccinations and to prepare the U.S. for another variant.

Experts have stated that the U.S. needs to dedicate anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion to help keep the globe vaccinated. We ourselves have recommended $20 billion.

Back in September 2021, the Secretary-General of the UN and several global health experts called on America to make a major commitment to assisting the world's poor in fighting Covid. In fairness to President Biden, there was some money in the March Covid bill passed by Congress, but that was grossly inadequate for the world's poor.

So this is morally bankrupt. It is the year 2022 and President Biden has still not proposed much of anything for global Covid. This is a morally defining moment. Our planet is hit by the greatest epidemic within memory and the rich nations refuse to help the poor.


Funding For Testing and Treatment for the Uninsured Has Been Gutted

Perhaps most alarmingly, the federal government has stopped accepting claims for testing and treatment for uninsured people by March 22, 2022—potentially leaving these people on the hook for the cost of getting Covid-19. April 5, 2022 marked the last day uninsured people can get free vaccinations, according to the White House. 


EARTH FUTURE ACTION REPORTS

America's State of Emergency 2022

Global Covid Plan

Vaccines for the Rich. Death for the Poor

 

NEWS LINKS

'Terrible Idea': Biden Preparing to Shift Costs of Covid Treatments, Vaccines to Patients (Common Dreams, 8-19-22)

Opinion | United States of Death? Study Shows Worrying Mortality Rates of Broken Health System (Common Dreams, 8-15-22)

FACT SHEET: Consequences of Lack of Funding for Efforts to Combat COVID-⁠19 if Congress Does Not Act (White House, 3-15-22)

The Government Is Running Out of COVID Money (VICE, 3-16-22)

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022: What's in It, What's Not (Investopedia, 3-15-22)

 

ORGANIZATIONS

People's CDC

The People’s CDC is a coalition of public health practitioners, scientists, healthcare workers, educators, advocates and people from all walks of life working to reduce the harmful impacts of COVID-19.