ACLA and NACDS, 65 Patient Groups, Provider and Public Health Organizations Urge Congress to Replenish the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Relief Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today sent a letter with over 60 leading organizations representing patients, health care professionals, hospitals, public health, laboratories, and diagnostic manufacturers urging Senate and House leaders to replenish the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Relief Fund. In the letter, the organizations urged Congress to take immediate action and replenish the fund to protect Americans’ ability to access testing, treatments and vaccinations without cost-sharing.
“Throughout the pandemic, federal COVID-19 funding supporting access to testing has been essential to our nation’s pandemic response,” said Tom Sparkman, ACLA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy. “As a result of the COVID-19 Uninsured Relief Fund, ACLA members have performed more than 8 million tests for uninsured individuals in 2021 alone. We must continue to support access to testing for all Americans, regardless of their insurance status, as testing remains a critical need to fight the pandemic.”
HRSA, which administers the program, has been unable to reimburse providers for testing and treatment since March 22 and stopped accepting claims for vaccinations on April 5. The letter emphasizes that without Congressional action, providers across the country will be “left without recourse to handle the influx of demand from uninsured Americans, forcing them to make decisions about the long-term sustainability of providing COVID-19 tests and services.”
The COVID-19 Uninsured Relief Fund originally was established by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and has been replenished as needed throughout the pandemic, most recently through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. The COVID-19 Uninsured Relief Fund has successfully provided life-saving access to COVID-19 testing for uninsured individuals and ensured that all Americans could access testing, treatments and vaccinations when needed.
To view the full letter, click here.
The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is the national trade association representing leading laboratories that deliver essential diagnostic health information to patients and providers. ACLA members are at the forefront of driving diagnostic innovation to meet the country’s evolving health care needs and provide vital clinical laboratory tests that identify and prevent infectious, acute and chronic disease. ACLA works to advance the next generation of health care delivery through policies that expand access to lifesaving testing services.