Get to Know: Federal COVID-19 Funding

Congress continues to work toward the passage of additional COVID-19 funding, which may not include support for a key program used by community health centers. Read on to learn more about the status of COVID-19 funding.
Congress is negotiating a COVID-19 funding bill for treatments, vaccines, and tests, but progress has repeatedly stalled due to disagreements regarding immigration policy and funding for Ukraine. The impasse led to several federal programs running out of funds, including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Uninsured Claims Program. 
The Uninsured Claims Program reimbursed providers, including community health centers, for the costs of providing COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and treatment to uninsured patients. In Tennessee where 31% of community health center patients are uninsured, the program was a critical tool to care for underserved communities.1 
What is the future of COVID-19 funding?
The Biden administration initially hoped to pass $22.5B for COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments, but no COVID-19 funding was included in the $1.5T spending bill passed in March. Congress has tried to negotiate a smaller, $10B package but was unable to make progress prior to the April recess. There has been no indication that negotiations over the current package would include additional funding for the HRSA Uninsured Claims Program. Before the April recess, negotiations stalled due to disagreements about Title 42, an immigration policy that allows the U.S. to turn away migrants at the border due to concerns about contagious diseases. The policy has been in use since March of 2020, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it was planning on revoking the policy at the end of May.2
Many lawmakers want to make passage of additional COVID-19 funding contingent upon a vote to prevent the end of Title 42. Others wished to combine COVID-19 funding with aid for Ukraine, but the House and Senate already passed a $40B aid package for Ukraine without COVID-19 funding.3,4
[1] Tennessee Health Center Program Uniform Data System (UDS) Data. (2022). Retrieved from
[2] Key facts about Title 42, the pandemic policy that has reshaped immigration enforcement at U.S.-Mexico border. (2022). Retrieved from
[3] House Passes $40 Billion More in Ukraine Aid, With Few Questions Asked. (2022). Retrieved from
[4] Senate Advances $40 billion Ukraine Aid Package. (2022). Retrieved from



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