Coronavirus: CDC head agrees to make testing free after questioning by OC Rep. Katie Porter

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- At a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Orange County Rep. Katie Porter continued to question the head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, until he finally agreed to make coronavirus testing available for anyone free of charge.

"Dr. Redfield, will you commit to the CDC right now, using that authority, to pay for diagnostic testing for everyone regardless of insurance?" Hill asked.

"Well," Redfield said, "I can say that we're going to do everything we can to make sure everybody gets the care that they --"

"No -- not good enough," the congresswoman interjected.

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Redfield continued, referring to the Department of Health and Human Services: "What I was trying to say is that the CDC is working with HHS now to see how we operationalize that."

"Dr. Reffield, I hope that that answer weighs heavily on you," Porter said, "because it is going to weigh very heavily on me and on every American family."

"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'm currently working with HHS to see how to best operationalize it," Redfield said.

Porter was unmoved.

"Dr. Redfield, you dont' need to do any work to operationalize," Porter said. "You need to make a commitment to the American people, so they come in to get tested. You can operationalize the payments tomorrow."

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

"Excellent," Porter said. "Everybody in America hear that? You are eligible to go get tested for coronavirus and have that covered, regardless of insurance."
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