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Gov. Reeves calls for President Biden to end COVID-19 public health emergency

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves
Gov. Tate Reeves (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has joined fellow Republican governors in issuing a letter urging President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency (PHE) for the COVID-19 pandemic by April 2023.

Nearly three years after the PHE was originally instituted, the governors argue that while COVID-19 will be around for the foreseeable future, the “emergency phase” of the virus is in the past.

“You recognized this yourself in a 60 Minutes interview in September when you said, ‘the pandemic is over.’ Additionally, the United States Senate passed a bipartisan resolution, 61-37, to terminate the national emergency on November 15, 2022. We agree with both your statement and the Senate’s resolution — it is time we move on from the pandemic and get back to life as normal,” the governors wrote.

Additionally, the governors state that the PHE is negatively affecting their respective states by artificially increasing the number of individuals receiving Medicaid benefits, regardless of their eligibility status. Since the onset of the pandemic, states have seen an uptick of 20 million Medicaid beneficiaries.

States are also unable to unenroll members from the program unless instructed by the member. Having such an influx of recipients, many of whom being privately insured through their employers, costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ending the PHE would alleviate states of the financial obligation of subsidizing these Medicaid benefits.

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