Weekly Policy Update: Federal Lawmakers Introduce Diagnostic Testing Bills
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 07/17/2020
Recently, Colorado Representative Diana DeGette and Indiana Representative Larry Bucshon introduced two bills to increase diagnostic testing capabilities at public health laboratories, in hospitals, and by physicians and other health service providers. CBSA is encouraged by this legislation, particularly as we think about the urgent needs of our state and the demand for expanded COVID-19 testing. The CBSA Policy Committee will review and vote on the legislation at our upcoming meeting on July 21.
- Diagnostic Testing for Public Health Labs Act: The bill directs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to assist eligible public health labs in acquiring high-throughput testing platforms and associated testing supplies through CDC’s ELC Cooperative Agreement. Priority would be given to underserved areas. This bill would provide $250 million in grants with a $2 million cap for any individual lab.
- Rapid Testing for Communities Act of 2020: The bill directs the Secretary through the CDC to award grants to eligible entities including: hospitals, primary care facilities, clinics, physicians, or other health care providers, to purchase rapid testing equipment and materials, including diagnostic and serological testing for use in point-of-care settings. Priority would be given to underserved areas. This bill includes $500 million in grants with up to $20k per entity.
- Rep. DeGette is also a cosponsor of H.R.7472, new legislation that would authorize the Director of the CDC to award grants to eligible state, tribal, and territorial public health agencies to develop and administer a program for digital contact tracing for COVID-19.
CBSA appreciates Congresswoman DeGette’s efforts to expand testing access and capacity. We look forward to working with her office on these critical issues.