The only way that we’re going to stop spreading COVID is to figure out if we even have COVID. In order to do that, we need to make it a lot easier to test.
COVID has been a part of our world for nearly two years. If you’ve had to go for a test, you know that most places make you wait at least a day or two to get an appointment. And then, you might wait another few days to get the results. It’s maddening…
Other parts of the world have had at-home COVID tests. And the results are almost as instant as an at-home pregnancy test. It makes it easier to quarantine if necessary. And the best part is that these tests are free – provided courtesy of the government.
Well, that’s not the case in the U.S.
At-home COVID tests have been nonexistent because the FDA has been slow to approve them. Now that they have been approved, you can plan on spending a small fortune on them. They’re still hard to find – and when you do find them, they’re going to run you approximately $24 for a pack of two, such as the one by Abbott. If you’re a family of four who wants to find out if you’ve all been exposed to COVID, that’ll cost you $48, assuming you can actually get your hands on two packs. Many stores that do have them in stock want to limit the number that you can buy.
The lack of at-home COVID tests combined with the costs have become a failure of the Biden administration. For a guy who promised to get COVID under control, he hasn’t done a very good job. He hasn’t even given us the basic tools to help manage the pandemic.
And, it’s easy to see the way in which Biden has failed when you compare how the tests are FREE in other countries around Europe.
Oh, but wait. Biden thinks that he has it all figured out now. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t.
The Biden administration thinks that they’ll solve everything by requiring private health insurance companies to reimburse companies who buy the rapid tests. This means that Americans would still have to front the costs…and there’s no plan in place for how consumers would get reimbursed or even how long that process will take place.
And what about those who are uninsured or who have Medicaid or Medicare?
Clearly, there are significant flaws within Biden’s plan.
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 coordinator, makes it sound so simple. “More than 150 million Americans on private health insurance will be able to submit receipts for at-home tests directly to their health insurance plans. “They can go to their local pharmacy, they can order online and then get reimbursed.”
Not really, though. As the co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown, Sabrina Corlette says, “We should not think for a minute that this is some sort of magic bullet that is going to get us universally free and accessible testing.”
Some insurance companies are already saying that it could take weeks if not months for people to get reimbursed. So, that’s really not a plan to help everyone get tested right away.
If other countries are offering free tests, without the need to get reimbursed, Biden should be able to borrow from those plans. Yet, he’s falling short – and it just means that Americans will have to deal with COVID longer thanks to the administration’s incompetence.