H.R. 382 would, upon enactment, terminate the public health emergency declared during the coronavirus pandemic. CBO’s current baseline incorporates an assumption that the public health emergency will be extended until July 2023, although the actual declared duration could be different. For this estimate, CBO assumes enactment on April 1, 2023, ending the public health emergency roughly three months earlier than previously anticipated.
Certain policies currently in place for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are tied to the public health emergency. In CBO’s assessment, those policies have increased spending, and ending the public health emergency before July 2023 would reduce costs. However, considerable uncertainty surrounds the affected agencies’ implementation of the bill, including the timing of its implementation.
Specifically, the bill would end certain policies that increased Medicare’s payment rates and expanded coverage of Medicare benefits. The largest budgetary effects for Medicaid and CHIP would arise from reducing federal funding for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment; ending the option to cover COVID-19 services for uninsured people; and vacating policies implemented by states under waivers and state plan amendments. The largest effects for SNAP would arise from ending the pause on participation limitations for students and for able-bodied adults without dependents and from lengthening certification periods.