The Biden Administration is spending billions of dollars to make free Covid-19 test kits available to Americans starting Sept. 25.
Although some taxpayer somewhere is paying for the kits, the cost to the consumer is nothing. You can request four free test per household through covidtests.gov.
The CDC said the test kits are able to detect the latest Covid variants and can be used through the end of December.
The exact costs of the program are unclear, but in 2022, three companies that provided about 380 million free over-the-counter test kits were awarded $2 billion to do so. That is likely the baseline for the current round of free test kits.
The free testing program comes almost exactly one year after President Joe Biden said that the Covid pandemic was over.
The pandemic is over,” Biden told 60 Minutes on Sept. 19, 2022. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing, and I think [the Detroit auto show resuming after three years] is a perfect example of it.”
Free test kits were once being handed out like candy in pharmacies and retail outlets, but they are no longer as widely available and insurance companies are no longer reimbursing the cost, after Biden announced the end of the public health emergency on May 11.
Also today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $600 million in grants to 12 commercial Covid-19 test manufacturers.
The grant is meant to produce about 200 million new over-the-counter Covid tests for future federal government use.
The awardees are almost all in liberal states:
- $88.7 million for Access Bio in New Jersey.
- $4.5 million for Advin in California.
- $61.2 million for Azure in Texas.
- $86.4 million for CorDx in California.
- $167 million for iHealth in California.
- $20.7 million for InBios in Washington.
- $31.4 million for Kwell Laboratories in California.
- $49.5 million for Maxim Bio in Maryland.
- $5.7 million for OraSure Technologies in Pennsylvania.
- $28.7 million for Princeton BioMeditech in New Jersey.
- $28.6 million for Quidel in California.
- $20.5 million for Sekisui in Delaware.