Rep. Sánchez’s Bill for Free Coronavirus Testing Passes the House

March 13, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DCThe U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included legislation Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) authored along with Reps. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Joaquin Castro (TX-20) to provide free Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing for uninsured patients.

“Widespread testing is key to containing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” said Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. “We cannot have our neighbors scared to get tested for fear of a costly medical bill. The lack of access to testing for anyone can and will accelerate the spread of this serious disease. In addition to addressing the economic damage caused by the coronavirus, this legislation ensures that all Americans, even those who are uninsured, will have access to free testing. We should not and will not leave anyone out.”

In addition to mandating free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, the emergency package also includes:

  • Paid emergency leave
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance
  • Food assistance for the vulnerable
  • Additional funding to states

The legislation passed today builds on an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending package enacted into law on March 6. That package – consisting entirely of new funds – included support for state and local health agencies, vaccine and treatment development, and loans for affected small businesses to lessen the economic blow of this public health emergency.