The meltdown of COVID-19 relief funds: 6 things to know

President Joe Biden signed into law March 15 a sweeping $1.5 trillion bill that funds the government through September. However, the bill does not include COVID-19 funding the White House had asked Congress for. 

Six things to know: 

1. The House stripped the $15 billion in COVID-19 funding out of the bill after a disagreement involving Democrats and Republicans about offsetting the funding, according to The Hill

2. The White House laid out several consequences from the lack of COVID-19 funding. Because of the funding snafu, the federal government will have to cut back shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments to states by 30 percent next week, and the country's supply of those treatments could run out as soon as May, according to NPR

3. In April, the government will not be able to reimburse healthcare providers for testing, vaccinating or treating millions of uninsured people for COVID-19. The Health Resources and Services Administration sent a notice to providers stating claims for COVID-19 testing and treatment of the uninsured will stop being accepted on March 22 due to a lack of sufficient funds. 

4. The White House said the lack of funding will hinder the government's ability to identify and assess new variants. In a letter to lawmakers, the White House warned that the U.S. risks being "blindsided" by future coronavirus variants. 

5. The White House is pressing Congress for more aid, but there isn't a clear path to approval of more COVID-19 funding. The Biden administration is requesting that Congress provide authority to ensure access to Medicare and insurance coverage for treatments under an Emergency Use Authorization. 

6. The call for more funding comes as COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to decline in the U.S. However, experts are concerned rising figures in Europe may signal what could play out in the U.S. in coming weeks. Coronavirus levels are rising at 38 percent of wastewater sampling sites in the U.S. that submit data to the CDC. 

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