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AARP to Congress: ‘Critical’ COVID-19 Funding Needed for Boosters, Treatments and Uninsured

Older adult getting a shot
FG Trade/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic that’s led to the deaths of more than a million Americans — 93 percent of whom were age 50-plus — is not over. But federal funds for boosters, treatments and tests are running low. Nancy LeaMond, our executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, sent a letter to lawmakers on Thursday demanding they “immediately pass critical funding necessary to protect the health and safety of older Americans.”

“Without action by Congress, our country will not have the tools necessary to continue fighting this disease,” LeaMond wrote. “In short, if Congress fails to fund the COVID response, it will be older Americans who will pay the price.”

Throughout the pandemic, the federal government purchased millions of COVID vaccines, boosters and tests, and federal funds have supported initiatives like the COVID-19 Uninsured Program, which reimburses health care providers treating, testing and vaccinating patients who don’t have insurance. But with funds running low, the Uninsured Program has already stopped accepting new claims. And it’s unclear who will pay for vaccines and boosters once the government’s current supply runs out.

“Congress must take a long-term view and stop lurching from crisis to crisis or waiting for severe variants to emerge before acting,” LeaMond said. “The current lapses in funding are unacceptable.”

Read our letter to lawmakers.

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