House Republicans passed a bill to end the public health crisis, despite Joe Biden’s wishes. This opens up a world of possibilities for both the healthcare industry as well as state and local governments.
Biden announced Monday that he would end the May pandemic. The administration states that it will take some time to unravel and unpack the programs, money, mandates, and other public health measures created during the emergency. The White House says that lifting the emergency right away would create chaos and uncertainty in the entire healthcare system.
Unexpected disruptions would be caused by an abrupt end of the pandemic emergency. This is particularly true for hospitals that received massive COVID-19 relief funds in the past 3 years and patients who are no longer eligible to receive free COVID tests or treatments.
It doesn’t really matter. Republicans are well aware that this legislation would not be touched by the Democratic Senate.
Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, a Democrat, said that this was not serious legislating. It is simply political posturing. “We all want to move forward, but we also want to do it responsibly.”
Republicans may reconsider lifting the emergency if they realize that it is the only thing that will stop a bigger tsunami of illegal aliens rushing to the border.
Biden acknowledges that the political issue of ending the emergency is important. Republicans were able to take the fall on Biden.
According to Politico:
Republicans know that the bill is unlikely to be enacted with Biden at the White House. They said their goal was to send a message to the administration and push them for a more detailed plan to end the emergency.
Politico was told by Rep. Brett Guthrie, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. “Hopefully, they will send a plan… There are issues that we need to address.”
One of these issues is the issue of federal workers being required to have vaccines. The House voted 220-206 to repeal the mandate to vaccinate, certain healthcare workers. Seven Democrats voted with the GOP.
According to The Hill:
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R.S.C.) introduced the measure to stop the Health and Human Services Secretary from enforcing workplace regulations and standards enacted during COVID-19 — including the vaccine mandate — at Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities.
The rules require that health workers in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities must have at least one dose of the primary series of coronavirus vaccines before they can provide treatment, care, or services. The vaccine requirements apply to more than 10,000,000 health workers in approximately 76,000 facilities.
This is more coronavirus theater. Republicans and Democrats are performing a Kabuki dancing with each side — and the audience — learning all the steps. One useful aspect of the exercise is that it alerts Joe Biden and the Democrats that Republicans will continue to do this dance even if the public health emergency is over. This was something he could have done easily before last summer.