White House Ends Covid National Emergency Weeks Ahead of Deadline

April 11, 2023

The White House ended the Covid National emergency on Monday roughly one month ahead of when it was set to expire.

On January 30, President Biden had said he planned to end both the national emergency and the public health emergency for Covid-19 on May 11.

Only the national emergency was rescinded on Monday. The public health emergency is still set to expire on May 11.

More than 197 Democratic House members had voted against ending the national emergency when the Republican-controlled chamber passed it in February. Last month, the measure passed the Senate by a 68-23 vote, at which point Biden let lawmakers know he would sign it—though he was publicly opposed to doing so but not to the point of issuing a veto.

The White House issued a statement Monday saying Biden had signed the measure behind closed doors.

The national emergency had broadened the steps that the federal government could take to respond to the Covid pandemic, including expanding economic, health and welfare systems. Already, expanded Medicaid coverage expired earlier this month, impacting some 15 million people.

State Medicaid programs will continue covering Covid-19 tests ordered by a physician and vaccines at no charge. Enrollees, however, may face out-of-pocket costs for treatments.

Covid-19 vaccinations will be free for those with insurance even when the public health emergency ends—although those privately insured may incur fees if they go out of network—because of various federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the Inflation Reduction Act and a 2020 relief package.

Americans with private insurance have not been charged for monoclonal antibody treatment since they were prepaid by the federal government, though patients may be charged for the office visit or administration of the treatment.

Some 1.13 million people in the U.S. have died from Covid-19 over the last three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 1,773 people during the week ending April 5.

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