WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLAS) — Representatives from Nevada, Virginia, New York, and Hawaii have introduced the “Free At-Home Tests for All Act” which would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 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.
Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D) said the bill would make it easy for Americans to get at-home COVID-19 tests which she said would keep more people safe by keeping infected people at home. “Providing easy access to free, at-home testing is essential to addressing COVID-19. The Free At-Home Tests for All Act removes financial barriers by making rapid tests available to everyone online, over the phone, and at local pharmacies,” Rep. Titus said.
According to Rep. Titus’ office, 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.
“The ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the urgent need for increased testing to help limit the spread of the virus and keep communities across the country safe,” said Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY). “Our legislation addresses that need by providing free, at-home tests for all families on a regular basis. Accessible testing is a critical tool in fighting this pandemic, and I’m proud to partner with my colleagues to make that a reality.”