About 51% of US adults support the Covid-19 public health emergency still in effect, while 39% say it is no longer needed, recently research found.
The report is from Morning Consult, which conducted survey between December 14 and 19. It received responses from 2,210 American adults.
The public health emergency is currently set to end on January 11. The Biden administration said it would provide 60 days notice for the emergency to expire, and since it did not do so in November, the public health emergency is expected to be extended into April.
Americans’ opinions varied by political party, generation, race/ethnicity, and location. For example, 72 percent of Democrats said they think the public health emergency should still be in place, compared with 34 percent of Republicans. Some 56% of Baby Boomers say it should still be in place, compared to 45% of Gen Zs. Also, 66% of black Americans think there should be a public health emergency, compared to 49% of white Americans who say so. More adults in urban communities (58%) think this should be in place than adults in rural areas (43%).
Almost half of those polled said the public health emergency should be extended in January, but two in five said it should not.
Under the public health emergency, Americans get coverage for Covid-19 services, such as tests, treatments and vaccines. However, the survey found that once the period is over, 46% of US adults are not interested in paying for Covid-19 products out of pocket. Meanwhile, 45% said they were interested and 9% said they didn’t know.
The report comes after that 25 governors sent a letter dated December 19 of President Joe Biden calling for an end to the public health emergency in April. In 2020, the pandemic led to the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which prohibited states from excluding people from Medicaid during the public health emergency and gave them a temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching rates . Governors said it hurts states and costs them significant money.
“The [public health emergency] negatively affects states, primarily by artificially increasing our Medicaid population (both the traditional and expanded populations), regardless of whether people remain eligible for the program,” the governors said. “While the enhanced federal match provides some assistance in reducing rising costs due to higher enrollment in our Medicaid programs, states are required to increase our non-federal match to adequately cover all enrollees and cannot exclude members from the program. unless they do so voluntarily.”
regarding 18 million people could lose Medicaid coverage after the public health emergency expires, according to a recent Urban Institute report. That includes 3.8 million people who would become completely uninsured.
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