(PatrioticPost.com)- President Joe Biden is taking more action on COVID-19 — some being more restrictions and some being more offerings for those who have private health insurance.
On Thursday, Biden said that more than 150 million people in America who have private health insurance would become eligible soon to receive at-home COVID-19 testing reimbursements from the company that insures them.
These rapid tests, which are available over-the-counter, apparently are a large part of the president’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the Omicron variant has arrived on U.S. soil.
Biden’s plan is a little odd, though. Instead of having the federal government purchase the tests and then make them available to all Americans for free, he’s forcing families to fork over the up-front cost of the tests, and then submit receipts to their insurance companies so they can get reimbursed.
There will be 50 million tests provided for free to any American who doesn’t have insurance.
It’s expected that by January 15, the departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services are expected to clarify whatever parameters that insurance companies will be required to provide reimbursements for the tests.
In addition to that announcement, Biden put more restrictions on some aspects of life in the country. International travelers now must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test they day before they’re scheduled to depart.
In an effort to try to get more people vaccinated, Biden called on all employers to give their employees paid time off so they can go get a COVID-19 vaccination, or one of the recently-approved booster shots. In the coming days, the White House is also expected to announce their plans for “a new effort to launch hundreds of vaccination clinics around the country.”
Biden has long relied on a large percentage of vaccinations to bring an end to the pandemic. But, he’s had a difficult time getting enough people to do that, all while new variants of the coronavirus are popping up, throwing another wrench in the plans.
At the same time, the White House extended its mask mandate to most modes of travel through mid-March. It’s also possible that they could extend it even further if they aren’t pleased with where the COVID-19 numbers are around the country.
While there are still some federal mask mandates, most states in the U.S. have pulled back on their own local mandates. Only six states still require that people wear masks indoors, regardless of whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.
Three states require anyone who is unvaccinated to wear a mask indoors. They are Connecticut, New York and California.
Some cities have taken matters into their own hands, passing more stringent COVID-19 restrictions on daily life than the surrounding state. This has often happened in liberal-led states, where they can get approval from the state House, or in liberal-led cities such as Philadelphia.