Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama
 

Rep. Sewell Leads Charge for No Cost COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Mar 12, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Terri Sewell (AL-07), Reps. Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced legislation to provide Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and the associated provider visit for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.

“Controlling the Coronavirus crisis is a matter of public health and safety, and it’s containment is dependent upon whether we make Coronavirus test kits readily available at no cost, regardless of health insurance coverage,” Rep. Sewell said. “Free testing will not only help Alabamians get diagnosed, but also ensure that if they are infected, they can take the necessary precautions to help contain the spread of the disease. I am committed to making sure that we pass legislation to provide the American people with access to affordable treatment.”

“As we work to tackle this century’s greatest threat to public health, we must ensure that all Americans have access to testing and care to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Rep. Robin Kelly. “The reality of public health is simple. We are only as protected and safe as the sickest, poorest and least insured of our neighbors. Providing no-cost testing will help stop the spread of this virus by detecting cases more rapidly to allow for the rapid implementation of quarantines. I encourage my Senate colleagues and the President to move quickly on this vital public health protection legislation.”

“No one should be deterred from getting tested for coronavirus because of cost. To help protect public health, it is critical that testing be accessible and free to all people regardless of income. I am proud to join Representative Kelly and Representative Sewell in introducing this legislation to provide support to those who need it the most,” said Rep. DeSaulnier.

Under this legislation, Medicaid will provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and the associated provider visit, potentially at no cost to beneficiaries. It also provides states with the option to extend Medicaid eligibility to uninsured Americans for the purpose of COVID-19 diagnostic testing. State expenditures for medical and administration costs will be matched by the federal government dollar for dollar.