'Free' Covid tests from federal government to cost taxpayers billions - Must Read Alaska
The Biden Administration is providing free Covid-19 test kits to Americans starting Sept. 25, with four tests per household available through covidtests.gov. The kits can detect the latest variants and will be available until the end of December. The program's costs are unclear, but in 2022, three companies were awarded $2 billion to provide 380 million free test kits. The announcement comes a year after President Biden declared the pandemic over. Insurance companies are no longer covering the cost of test kits, and the government has also granted $600 million to 12 Covid-19 test manufacturers.
The Biden Administration has taken a significant step in combating the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic by allocating billions of dollars to provide free test kits to Americans. This initiative, set to commence on September 25th, aims to ensure widespread access to testing without any cost burden on the consumer. By visiting covidtests.gov, individuals can request up to four free test kits per household.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that these test kits are capable of detecting the latest variants of the virus and will remain effective until the end of December. While the exact expenses associated with this program are yet to be determined, it is worth noting that in 2022, three companies were granted $2 billion to distribute approximately 380 million free over-the-counter test kits. This figure can be considered as a baseline for the current round of free test kits.
Interestingly, this free testing initiative coincides with President Joe Biden's statement, made exactly one year ago, declaring the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. In an interview with 60 Minutes on September 19, 2022, President Biden expressed his belief that the pandemic was over, although acknowledging the ongoing work and challenges related to Covid-19. He pointed out the diminishing need for masks and the resumption of events like the Detroit auto show as evidence of the changing situation.
Previously, free test kits were readily available in pharmacies and retail outlets, but their accessibility has since decreased. Additionally, insurance companies have ceased reimbursing the cost of these kits following President Biden's announcement on May 11, declaring an end to the public health emergency.
In addition to the free test kits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently announced $600 million in grants to 12 commercial Covid-19 test manufacturers. This grant aims to facilitate the production of approximately 200 million new over-the-counter Covid tests for future use by the federal government.
Overall, the Biden Administration's commitment to providing free test kits is a significant step towards curbing the spread of Covid-19. By eliminating financial barriers and ensuring widespread access to testing, this initiative aims to protect the health and well-being of the American population.