Statement from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on the Bipartisan Funding Bill
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra released the following statement after President Biden signed the bipartisan funding bill.
“During this holiday season, we’re grateful to Congress for giving us the gift of funding to advance so many of our health and human services priorities. There’s no doubt this funding will improve health and wellbeing across the nation, including in Indian Country where, for the first time, the Indian Health Service has been given advanced appropriations – providing the agency with the protection that other federal health providers have from budgetary uncertainty.
“In addition to improving the care we provide American Indians and Alaska Natives, this funding will increase our ability to combat public health threats, strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, expand access to mental health and substance use services, expand the public health workforce, strengthen supports for vulnerable children and families, and accelerate research and innovation.
“While this funding advances many of our health and human services priorities, there is one priority it does not advance: our COVID-19 response. As COVID-19 evolves, we must evolve with it – and without additional funding from Congress, we will be limited in our ability to develop new vaccines and treatments, increase vaccine uptake, and send out another round of tests. This is especially concerning as some of our treatments are increasingly becoming less effective against the ever-evolving virus.
"Once again, as we have for a year now, we call on Congress to provide critical COVID-19 funding.”