WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced her co-sponsorship of the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, which would expand free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.
“My top priority in Congress is protecting the health and well-being of Nevadans,” said Senator Rosen. “It is critical that people have the resources they need to maintain their health, and that includes the ability to be tested for the coronavirus free of charge. This legislation would ensure cost is not a barrier for anyone to receive a test, helping to keep communities across Nevada informed and healthy. I will continue working in Congress to defend the health of all Nevadans.”
BACKGROUND: The Free COVID-19 Testing Act would waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services for individuals enrolled in private health plans, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA as well as for federal civilians, American Indians and Alaska Natives. Private insurers would be barred from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing. For uninsured individuals, this legislation would cover the cost of lab fees, and states would have the option and new incentives to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services through their Medicaid programs.
Senator Rosen has taken the following actions in the last month:
• Voted to pass an $8.3 billion emergency funding package to support federal, state, and local health agencies, to invest in vaccine and treatment development, and support affected small businesses with loan assistance.
• Participated in a hearing as a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the federal response to COVID-19 and preparations for future global pandemics, and questioned officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security.
• Participated in a hearing as a member of the Senate Commerce on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the federal response to the coronavirus and its potential impact on small businesses.
• Questioned health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the opportunity to utilize telehealth as a means of treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Senator Rosen also expressed support for ensuring that health insurance limitations are not an obstacle to patients seeking telehealth care.
• Questioned witnesses from the Department of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the role of aviation in containing the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 during a hearing hosted by the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation and Space.
• Joined with colleagues in sending a number of letters to officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Education (ED), as well as Vice President Michael R. Pence, requesting information on how the departments will be responding to cases of the coronavirus.
• Last week, representatives from Senator Rosen’s office attended a briefing with Governor Sisolak and members of Nevada’s public health community to discuss the state’s preparedness for potential cases of coronavirus in Nevada.
• Last month, Senator Rosen joined her colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting an update on the Administration’s response to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Nevadans can find updates on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, by visiting the Senator’s website.