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Biden Administration Clings to Emergency Pandemic Powers

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

 The Biden administration on Thursday renewed COVID-19’s status as a public health emergency through Jan. 11, despite President Biden stating last month that he believes “the pandemic is over.” 

First declared in January 2020, the public health emergency has been extended every 90 days with no signs of letting up given the health services that are tied to it. 

The decision means pandemic programs that have helped support hospitals and expand health coverage will remain in place. Under the designation, pharmacists have been allowed to administer Covid-19 shots. People on Medicaid aren’t required to renew their eligibility. States have gotten a boost in federal Medicaid payments. […]

The designation enables the federal government to run Test to Treat, a program that aims to get people tested and treated at the same time. It also maintains access to free, at-home tests through private insurance and Medicare, federal officials said. The designation also will allow the federal government to stay ready should cases rise in winter, they said. (WSJ)

The Biden administration said it would give states 60 days’ notice before ending the public health emergency. 

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