House Democrats introduce bill to make free at-home testing available for all
Don Beyer (D-VA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Joe Morelle (D-NY), and Kaialiʻi Kahele (D-HI) introduced legislation to make rapid at-home COVID tests more widely available to the American people.
The Free At-Home Tests For All Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services to “purchase in bulk a sufficient quantity of rapid tests for SARS–CoV–2 to provide two such tests per week to every resident of the United States,” and to distribute those tests free of charge. It would also fast track test approval processes.
“As our society adapts to the threat of Covid, a major challenge that continues to confront the country is the need for more testing,” Beyer said. “Recent moves by the Biden-Harris Administration to distribute free tests and to require private insurers to fully reimburse individuals for the cost of tests are strong, and we applaud them. Our legislation would build on that progress by making free rapid at-home tests available to the American people on the scale called for by scientific and medical experts, as currently seen in other peer countries. All of us want a return to normalcy, and we need more accessible and affordable at-home testing to help get there.”
The Free At-Home Tests for All Act would:
- Require HHS to purchase enough rapid tests for every American to have two tests per week for one year;
- Provide those tests at no-cost through pharmacies and schools, through Medicare and Medicaid, and by mail via online or phone order;
- Require HHS tests to be offered with free proctored guidance, including advice to individuals who receive a positive test result on best practices and treatments, and to include prepaid envelopes with which positive tests may be mailed to public health labs for sequencing;
- Grant automatic U.S. emergency use authorization to World Health Organization (WHO) and WHO Stringent Regulatory Authorities -approved tests; and
- Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and maintain a testing advisory committee.
Text of the bill is available here.