Ex-Officials Call For $46 Billion For Tracing, Isolating In Next Coronavirus Packag

April 27, 2020, NPR, Franco Ordonez - Two leading former federal health officials who served in recent Republican and Democratic administrations are spearheading a call for a $46 billion public health investment in a future coronavirus aid package in order to safely reopen the economy. Andy Slavitt, former director of Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama administration, and Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration chief for President Trump, say that Congress needs to devote funding to help states track down people who have been exposed to the coronavirus, and to offer resources to infected and exposed individuals who wish to self-isolate.

Hosemann says session to resume on May 18, business as usual plus pandemic response

April 27, 2020, Mississippi Today, Bobby Harrison - Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said he hopes it is “business as usual as much as possible” when the Legislature returns on May 18 from its coronavirus-induced recess. Both Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, and House Speaker Philip Gunn announced the return date in simultaneous news releases Monday. As the releases were sent out, Hosemann, in his first year as lieutenant governor, was speaking during a virtual meeting of the Mississippi State University Sennis Institute of Government/capitol press corps. He said the plans are to take up most of the legislation that was pending when the recess occurred in mid-March and then take up the overall state budget in June.

Delta Health clinic testing those without symptoms for COVID-19

April 27, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Jimmie E. Gates - More than 1,000 people with or without symptoms have been tested for the coronavirus in the Mississippi Delta in the last two weeks. Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou has been testing everyone with or without symptoms during the clinic’s three drive-thru testing sites to date, said Clinic Operations Manager Denise “Coach” Taylor. Delta Health Center performed 340 tests on April 19 in Mound Bayou. It performed 357 tests on April 22 and 358 on April 23 in Cleveland. On Wednesday, the clinic is scheduled to conduct similar testing in Indianola, said CEO John Fairman.

As Americans lose their livelihoods, Medicaid will be their lifeline

April 27, 2020, CNN Business, Ron Wyden - The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that America’s health care system is dangerously unprepared for a public health crisis. It has also revealed the flaws of closely tying health care to employment when such a crisis triggers an economic collapse. Before the pandemic hit, nearly 28 million Americans lacked health insurance. With layoffs mounting, that figure is only going to climb. Times like these spotlight the need to strengthen the social safety net, including Medicaid. Medicaid was created and guided by a simple principle: Americans should not be forced to go without health care due to an inability to pay. Today Medicaid helps pay for nearly two out of three seniors who count on nursing home care. It helps pick up the costs for nearly half of all pregnancies. And it provides comprehensive health care to tens of millions of workers and their families, including people of color who are experiencing disproportionately high rates of infectionand face structural barriers to care.

Trump administration offers plan for hospital funds to coronavirus hot spots, uninsured patients

April 22, 2020, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel - Hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic will receive $10 billion from the CARES Act beginning next month, the Trump administration announced Wednesday. The money comes as lawmakers in both parties have been urging the administration to move quicker. Hospitals in the hardest-hit states like New York and New Jersey have been frustrated that the initial round of funding went to hospitals based on their share of Medicare funding, rather than their share of coronavirus patients.

Medicaid gains middle-class interest amid job losses, worries about coronavirus spread

April 23, 2020, USA Today, Jayne O’Donnell - If we can’t prioritize Medicaid expansion given the health implications of a pandemic of historic proportions and an economic catastrophe of historic proportions, we’re incapable of resolving this intractable problem,” said health economist David Becker of the University of Alabama-Birmingham.