Becerra to Congress and COVID-19 Funding
Secretary Becerra Testifies on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Budget. After the President’s fiscal year 2023 budget release, Department Secretaries testify before committees of jurisdiction to discuss the budget. This is a perfunctory process, but it is important to watch to hear Member’s questions for the Secretary and areas of interest. This week Secretary Becerra will testify before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Budget Committee. It is expected that he will continue to appear before other Committees over the next few weeks to discuss the budget request.
Next Step for COVID-19 Relief. Late last week, it was announced that a bipartisan group of Senators is closing in on a $10 billion COVID-19 relief package. This package is significantly smaller than the initial White House request of $22.5 billion and smaller than the $15 billion in COVID-19 relief that was ultimately removed from the FY 2022 government funding package. The package appears to leave out funding for global relief and the uninsured COVID-19 fund.
Medicare Coverage of At Home COVID Tests. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries now have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, authorized, or cleared over-the-counter COVID-19 tests covered at no cost. Eligible individuals will be allowed up to eight tests per calendar month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Congress is considering a COVID-19 relief package, Secretary Becerra continues committee hears and former President Obama makes his first official visit to the White House. Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock join us to discuss the week ahead in Washington, DC.