EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Last week, with Covid-19 cases surging and more Americans testing positive for the omicron variant, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked at a news briefing why the United States doesn’t provide universal free at-home coronavirus tests. “Should we just send one to every American?” she retorted sarcastically.

But scientists and public health experts weren’t laughing. They quickly noted that many other countries have done just that. In Britain, citizens can request free tests be delivered to their door. France, Germany, and Singapore, to name just a few, all provide coronavirus tests at little or no cost.

Instead, the United States will rely on private insurers to reimburse the cost of at-home tests—and on Americans to front the money, retain receipts and navigate what can be a convoluted reimbursement process.

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.