State and local public health officials — having not heard differently this week — are expecting the Biden administration to extend the Covid-19 public health emergency for another 90 days in mid-October.
An extension would ensure expanded Medicaid coverage, telehealth services, boosted payments to hospitals and other pandemic measures remain in place beyond the midterm elections even as public health experts and lawmakers debate the merits of a PHE that was first declared in January 2020.
“The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remains in effect and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration,” an HHS spokesperson told POLITICO.
The administration has not notified groups, including the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Federation of American Hospitals and the American Public Health Association, that the PHE would end, a courtesy HHS has said it would issue 60 days before the Covid-19 declaration is terminated. The 60-day notice would have been issued early this week under that pledge.
“Silence from the administration means that the public health emergency will almost certainly be extended into January 2023,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.