Spring has Sprung! The Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing. For the next 4 weeks, trees along the tidal basin and throughout the city will be filled with pink blossoms; their petals carried all over the District. The planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. It is a powerful image to picture DC covered in blossoms and petals of pink symbolizing friendship as we face all of the challenges in our country and abroad.
Appropriations for FY 2023: The process for determining Federal government spending for FY 2023 has begun and is likely to accelerate once President Biden unveils his FY 2023 budget request, which is expected to be rolled out sometime between March 28 and April 4.
Additional COVID-19 funding: Although removed from the Omnibus Bill, lawmakers and the President alike are looking for additional funds. The White House has warned that sufficient funds do not exist for additional vaccination efforts. Without additional funding, the free COVID-19 treatments may soon carry a hefty price tag (as much as $2000 a course) and therefore become inaccessible to many Americans, further exacerbating inequities.
Public Health Emergency gets set to unwind and Medicaid redeterminations loom: Only a little more than half of states have figured out how they’re going to prioritize processing Medicaid renewals when the continuous coverage requirement is lifted, according to the latest annual survey of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program officials. CMS has recommended that states take 14 months to complete redetermination and process no more than one-ninth of their caseload each month to prevent eligible people from losing their health insurance because of procedural errors.