'All-hands-on-deck': COVID-19 'rule' expires possibly leaving 15 million without healthcare

'All-hands-on-deck': COVID-19 'rule' expires possibly leaving 15 million without healthcare
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Millions of people are at risk of losing healthcare as of Friday, when the Public Health Service Act expires, NBC reports.

According to NBC, legislators passed the "rule" in 2020, which "kept people automatically enrolled in" Medicaid, "even if they no longer met the requirements for coverage."

Dr. Adam Gaffney, a critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, said the expiration is "disruptive," and "many of the patients kicked off Medicaid will likely have 'significant health needs.'"

READ MORE: Nikki Haley slammed for 'idiotic' claim that Medicaid and food stamp recipients are 'sitting on the couch'

Per NBC, according to the nonprofit research organization, KFF, nearly" 95 million people in the U.S. are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, which provides low-cost coverage to children."

NBC reports:

The continuous Medicaid coverage requirement was originally tied to the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, which will expire in May.

In December, however, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which set a new end date for the Medicaid coverage rule of March 31.

According to NBC, a 2022 KFF report confirms "Medicaid enrollment grew by 23.9% from 2020 to 2022 — an increase of 17 million people."

READ MORE: GOP taking budget advice from Trump official seeking to cut $2 trillion from Medicaid

Carrie Fry, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says individuals "most likely to be affected by the change are 'children, young adults, Black and Hispanic or Latinx people.'"

She noted, "In sum, this is an all-hands-on-deck situation to minimize the number of people who lose Medicaid coverage."

READ MORE: '15 to 18 million Americans' may lose Medicaid coverage in 2023: report

NBC's full report is available at this link.

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