White House Expects ‘Positive Announcements’ On Medicare And Medicaid Covering COVID-19 Vaccine

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The White House expects to make “some very positive announcements” about reports that Medicare and Medicaid will cover early coronavirus vaccines at no expense to those covered by the plans, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah told reporters Tuesday.

Farah’s statement comes less than a day after Politico first reported that government healthcare plans would cover the vaccines. New regulations will allow Medicare and Medicaid to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for vaccines that receive emergency-use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to Politico.

“We’ve looked at every lever that we can pull to make sure that those who need it the most can get it for free or discounted so that’s definitely under consideration. We expect some very positive announcements coming on that front,” Farah said during a Fox News interview. (RELATED: Here’s Why A Vaccine Won’t End Coronavirus Hysteria)

The expected announcement will come roughly a week after the Trump administration reached an agreement with Walgreens and CVS to allow free COVID-19 vaccines for residents of long-term care facilities. Legislators also sought to mandate that the COVID-19 vaccine be free for Americans by passing a law through Congress in March, but the effort stalled and never came to fruition.

President Donald Trump has previously said he expects experimental COVID-19 vaccines to begin the distribution process in October. There has been some disagreement, however, about when the vaccine is expected to be widely available to Americans.

CDC Director Robert Redfield suggested in September that the vaccine would not be widely available until summer 2021, while Trump and the White House have insisted that 100 million doses will be available by the end of 2020 and 700 million will be available by March 2021.