CDC director grilled on COVID-19 testing costs to Americans

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continued its hearing on Thursday on the response to the coronavirus outbreak, after the hearing was cut short on Wednesday when President Donald Trump summoned the officials who were testifying to the White House.

During Thursday's hearing, Porter, a Democrat, tallied the prices of testing to $1,331 and asked Redfield, "will you commit to invoking your existing authority under 42 CFR 71.30 to provide for coronavirus testing for every American regardless of insurance coverage?"

After an exchange Redfield said, "Our intent is to make sure every American gets the care and treatment that they need at this time of this major epidemic and I am currently working with HHS to see how to best operationalize it."

"You can operationalize the payment structure tomorrow," said Porter.

"I think you’re an excellent questioner so my answer is: yes," said Redfield.

The U.S. Congress on Thursday struggled to pass legislation to help Americans cope with the expanding coronavirus crisis, as Democrats planned to push ahead with a wide-ranging bill that Republicans branded as "unworkable."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that Democrats' 124-page "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" would be debated on the House floor on Thursday.