AARP Opposes House Measure Calling for Early End to COVID-19 Emergency
By Natalie Missakian, February 1, 2023 04:10 PM
En español | More than 90 percent of all U.S. deaths from COVID-19 have been among people 50 and older. Those deaths continue at a rate of nearly 1,000 a week, which is why we oppose efforts in Congress to prematurely end the public health emergency (PHE) that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.
“Older Americans rely on programs and flexibilities authorized under the PHE to keep them safe, such as Medicare coverage of at-home COVID tests and coverage of certain treatments,” Bill Sweeney, AARP senior vice president of government affairs, wrote in a letter to House lawmakers Tuesday. “Their health and well-being should be valued as much as Americans of any other age group.”
On Tuesday, the House passed a bill, known as the Pandemic is Over Act, that would declare an end to the public health emergency immediately. The Biden administration said this week that it plans to let the emergency expire May 11.
In our letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders, we raised “deep concerns” about the bill and stressed that the federal government should extend the emergency “until cases have been reduced and there is an orderly transition in place to ensure all Americans can get the care they need.”
We renewed our call to require COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for workers in nursing homes. Cases of the virus in the facilities have surged again this winter.
“While AARP is encouraged by the significant progress in bringing down the overall impact of the disease, we should not risk falling further behind when the health and lives of older Americans remain at risk,” Sweeney wrote.
Read our letter and keep up with our COVID-19 coverage.
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