Not every politician is in the game to profit. Republican Katie Porter, for instance, is being credited for convincing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention chief, Dr. Robert Redfield, to waive the cost of coronavirus (Covid-19) testing for all U.S. citizens.
“I did the math. We live in a world where 40% of Americans can’t even afford a $400 unexpected expense,” said Porter. “We live in a world where 33% of Americans put off medical treatment last year, and we have $1,133 expense just for testing for the coronavirus.
“I also did the legal research: The Administration has the authority to make testing free for every American TODAY. I secured a commitment from a high-level Trump official that they’d actually do it.”
According to CNN, Porter extracted a commitment from Redfield to pay for the testing of the novel virus by holding up a whiteboard. On it, she outlined all of the associated costs of getting tested.
While many insurance companies have agreed to pick up the cost of coronavirus testing, it doesn’t mean the necessary test is free. This detail was conveyed inaccurately during President Donald Trump’s recent address to the nation. Approximately 8% of Americans are currently uninsured, meaning they have no means of being tested. The fear of the expense and the inability to pay it would be debilitating for many impoverished Americans.
“Fear of these costs are going to keep people from being tested, from getting the care they need and from keeping their communities safe,” explained Porter. Demanding Redfield use legal authority under the Code of Federal Regulations to waive the charge, she asked: “Do you want to know who has coronavirus and who doesn’t? Not just rich people, but everybody who might have the virus?”
“Yes. All of America. I think you’re an excellent questioner, so my answer is yes. And I would just like to echo what you said: It’s … very important (to) public health that … those individuals that are in the shadows can get the health care that they need during this, the time of us responding to this outbreak.”
Porter concluded: Excellent! Everybody in America hears that — you are eligible to go get tested for coronavirus and have that covered, regardless of insurance. Please — if you believe you have the illness, follow precautions, call first, do everything the CDC and Dr. Fauci — God bless you for guiding Americans in this time — but do not let a lack of insurance worsen this crisis.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a true leader of the public looks like.
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Image credit: Katie Porter