In his State of the Union Tuesday night March 1, 2022, President Biden affirmed that the U.S. is winning the war on COVID 19 and will continue to wage efforts that keep the pandemic at bay. Those efforts will include the launch of a ‘Test to Treat’ initiative, which will enable Americans to get tested at local pharmacies, and, if they test positive, to receive antiviral medication immediately afterwards.
"We've ordered more pills than anyone in the world has. Pfizer is working overtime to get us a million pills this month and more than double that next month," Biden said. "And now we're launching the 'Test to Treat' initiative. So people can get tested at a pharmacy and, if they prove positive, receive the antiviral pills on the spot at no cost."
The President stated confidently, that the country is continuing to make great strides in battling the pandemic, and that most areas would be soon seeing a relaxation or complete removal of mask guidelines.
“We’ve reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19, with severe cases down to a level not seen since last July. Just a few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the CDC—issued new mask guidelines. Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free. And based on the projections, more of the country will reach that point across the next couple of weeks.”
Biden also declared that, beginning next week, all American residents would be able to order additional free packs of COVID-19 test kits.
The pandemic was not the only healthcare-related topic included in the President’s State of the Union address, as he took time to focus in on the vital need to make treatment and medications affordable for all citizens.
“Look, the American Rescue Plan is helping millions of families on Affordable Care Act plans save $2,400 a year on their health care premiums. Let’s close the coverage gap and make those savings permanent.”
The President made specific reference to his meeting with a teenage boy living with Type-1 diabetes, and the cost burdens placed upon his family to afford the daily shots of insulin. These costs were even further exacerbated by the fact that the boy’s father also has Type-1 diabetes. The struggles of this family and countless others to pay for treatment continues to grip the nation.
“First – cut the cost of prescription drugs. Just look at insulin. One in ten Americans has diabetes. In Virginia, I met a 13-year-old boy named Joshua Davis. He and his Dad both have Type 1 diabetes, which means they need insulin every day. Insulin costs about $10 a vial to make. But drug companies charge families like Joshua and his Dad up to 30 times more.”
Being very cognizant of the plight of numerous Americans to attain the care they need in a market where prices are seemingly skyrocketing, Biden announced intentions to “close the coverage gap and make those savings permanent.”
“Drug companies will still do very well. And while we’re at it let Medicare negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, like the VA already does.”