Biden’s Power to Make Insurance Companies Pay for Covid Tests Is Clear

President Joe Biden and his COVID-19 Response Team hold their regular call with the National Governors Association to discuss his Administration’s response to the Omicron variant, in the White House, in Washington D.C., December 27, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
So why has the administration been so vague about the legal basis for exercising it?

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P resident Biden is ordering private health-insurance companies to cover the cost of Covid-19 testing, which is surging primarily because the Omicron variant is highly infectious. (Thankfully, as our Jim Geraghty details, Omicron’s virulence has not lived up to the doomsday predictions of many experts.) On Monday, the three federal departments primarily responsible for the convergence of issues regarding insurance and public health — Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) — issued insurance-coverage guidance that Biden had said would be forthcoming.

A friend asked me by what legal authority the president may direct private insurance companies to cover medical tests.

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