ATLANTA – Atlanta health professionals speak out against the loss of COVID-19 Uninsured program that will leave many Americans without the free COVID-19 treatment they have received since the beginning of the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the White House issued a press release stating that on March 22, due to “lack of sufficient funds,” the COVID-19 Uninsured Program will no longer accept insurance claims.
Health workers in Atlanta, however, are calling for Congress to allocate emergency aid so they can continue to provide the best care for this population.
“Taking this program away will significantly deprive the uninsured patient population of the treatment they need to get better from COVID-19 once they have tested positive,” said Naaz Malek, Assistant Medical Officer and COO of Emergent Testing.
Despite the recent decline in COVID-19 cases, they say that without program funding, there will be an inevitable increase in positive cases across the country. This will be due in part to the fact that treatment will not be affordable for most people in this demographic.
“How do you put that number on an already underserved population that already does not have access to adequate insurance and coverage and other economic barriers,” said Dr. Ayana Herbert, founder of RTW Health Services. “The fear here is that you assign a number, you attach some money to the test, people will not test.”
According to the White House, Congress must issue $ 22.5 billion to continue funding COVID-19 relief.
Dr. Sofia Khan, CEO and founder of COVID Care Georgia, said there will be many people who will not even know they have the virus, leading to “an increase in the severity and severity of the cases.”
She also said that the loss of this program will not only affect the uninsured population but also many of COVID-19 treatment centers across the country. Since a large portion of their patient intake is uninsured people, with no funds to pay for treatments, many will be forced to permanently close their doors.
“So for COVID Care Georgia, 50-60% of our patients are uninsured. We’re going to have to close. And it’s really bothering me because the reason I went into this is because I wanted to give access to this. community because they deserved it as much as anyone else did. ” She said.