Where Would New Pandemic Funding Go? One Doctor Explains

Posted: May 10, 2022 12:00 PM
Where Would New Pandemic Funding Go? One Doctor Explains

Source: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Despite cases being at an all time low and as the severity of Wuhan coronavirus wanes, the Biden Administration continues to push Congress for additional pandemic funding.  

"Without timely COVID funding, more Americans will die needlessly.  We will lose our place in line for America to order new COVID treatments and vaccines for the fall, including next-generation vaccines under development, and be unable to maintain our supply of COVID tests.  In the fall, if we are hit by new variants, it will be too late to get the tools needed for protection – critical treatments that will be available in Europe, but not the United States.  In addition, our effort to help lower-income countries get COVID vaccines into arms will stall," President Joe Biden released in a statement this week. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently claimed the need for new funding is "dire." 

But White House demands for funding and dire warnings aren't going unchallenged. 

Johns Hopkins University Professor Doctor Marty Makary points out much of the funding goes unaccounted for and will be used to push out vaccines without proper study. 

While Biden wants more spending, states are still rolling in pandemic cash and are expanding Medicaid as a result. From a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis: 

We estimate Medicaid enrollment will grow by 25% from 2019 through the end of FY 2022, representing an increase of 22.2 million enrollees. Baseline growth accounts for approximately 3.5 million of the enrollment growth while the MOE continuous enrollment requirement accounts for 18.7 million. Of the total increase in enrollment (22.2 million), children accounted for an estimated 42%, expansion adults 33%, other adults 20% and the aged and people with disabilities accounted for 6%.

Over the three-year period from FY 2020 through FY 2022, we estimate that states will have received approximately $100.4 billion in fiscal relief due to the enhanced FMAP, which is more than double the total estimated state costs due to the additional MOE enrollees ($47.2 billion). The enhanced federal matching payments — which were intended to provide states with fiscal relief — exceed the costs of the additional enrollment in every state, though the degree varies by state.

We estimate that adults, including ACA expansion adults and other adults such as parents who do not qualify for Medicaid based on a disability, account for the largest share (53%) of all new pandemic enrollment growth since 2019