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Rodgers and Burr Press Becerra on Wasteful COVID-19 Spending in Uninsured Program


Washington, D.C. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Republican Leader Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra raising concerns about the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) program to reimburse health care providers for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine administration for uninsured patients. 

Key Excerpts from their letter: 

“We understand that $18.3 billion has been budgeted for the uninsured program out of the $178 billion Congress has appropriated through the provider relief fund, and the Administration projects funds to be depleted in late April or early May of this year. The Administration has requested that Congress provide $3 billion in additional appropriations for the continued operation of the uninsured program in the “near-term” which we understand to mean through June.

We have serious concerns with providing more funding without additional measures to protect uninsured patients and taxpayers from the seemingly indiscriminate spending, given HRSA has already subsidized providers for services that they do not provide or, in some cases, are not even licensed to provide. A review of claims data reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raises serious questions about the integrity of funds disbursed through the uninsured program. Some health care providers may have received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in ways that raise serious questions about their filing of claims and their ability to have provided the quantity and types of services to uninsured patients for whom they are receiving reimbursements. 

Rodgers and Burr provide several examples of questionable spending and careless oversight. In addition to several questions, they ask the administration to provide total spending for testing, treatment, and vaccination administration by month since the uninsured program’s inception.  

CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 

RELATED: Following the Biden administration’s recent request for $30 billion in supplemental COVID-19  spending, Rodgers said, “After spending trillions of dollars, the Biden administration is requesting additional $30 billion with no clear plan and no transparency… Spending $30 billion more without proper oversight or a proper plan to end the public health emergency is not how we give Americans their freedom back.”