Dr. Stack talks with WKYT about end of COVID-19 emergency declaration
KENTUCKY (WKYT) - President Joe Biden has set a date of May 11 for the COVID-19 emergency declaration to end, something which has lasted for almost three years now.
Most of the impact of the COVID-19 emergency ending has already been felt in Kentucky, that’s according to Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s public health commissioner.
However, Dr. Stack says that come May 11, Kentuckians may have to pay more for COVID tests, vaccines and treatments.
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State health departments received a lot of federal help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Stack said the state emergency ended last year, per action of the General Assembly, but one of the most wide-reaching effects is Medicaid enrollment. During Covid, it was easier for some to get coverage. Now, they will have to shift to other programs.
This could impact more than 240,000 Kentuckians. COVID-19 vaccines and treatment costs won’t be covered by federal dollars.
“People having access to health care remains a challenge,” said Dr. Stack. “And, now, as these vaccines and vaccines and therapeutics transition to the commercial marketplace, those will be regular health care expenses. And will be things the public will have to navigate just like they do with other medical evaluation and treatment.”
Dr. Stack says Covid is here to stay and Kentuckians are still dying from it. However, it’s not causing a burden to health care and is not the crisis it once was and society has learned to deal with it.
Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie has also filed the Pandemic Is Over Act to end the emergency sooner than the May 11 date from the Biden administration. Dr. Stack says there needs to be time to transitionally end programs.
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