If I were ever in a situation in which I had to fight more than a few people at one time, there is only one person in the world I’d want with me: my older sister Stephanie. Two reasons why Stephanie is the easy choice: First, she’d try everything she could to get us out of it. And secondly, if it all goes to shit, she’s fighting until she can’t fight anymore.
So when America was facing a global pandemic and the cost for coronavirus testing for those without insurance was possibly causing some folks not to be tested, America called one person: Rep. Katie Porter.
Porter successfully punked all the health officials during a House hearing and it was glorious. Using a whiteboard during Thursday’s House hearing on the Trump administration’s bullshit response to the coronavirus in case any of them had trouble with maths, Porter initially got “Health and Human Services official Dr. Robert Kadlec to admit he didn’t know how much it would cost a person labeled ‘high severity and threat’ to get tested for the virus at an emergency room,” LA Magazine reports.
Which might be important considering America is facing a goddamn pandemic and the cost alone could keep people from being tested and ultimately spreading the virus.
Using the whiteboard, which is like kryptonite to health officials, Porter showed that a conservative estimate for a person without health care to visit an emergency room would cost around $1,331. Porter then went after CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield, asking if he had any interest in knowing who in America had been infected or only the rich.
Redfield noted that he wanted to know if “all of America,” had been infected.
Porter then wanted to know if Redfield had any idea that he didn’t have to wait for authority to make an executive decision about this. In fact, as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he could “direct the agency to pay for the treatment and care of individuals ‘subject to exam and quarantine, isolation, and conditional release.’”
Redfield noted that he was aware.
Porter: “So bitch, what the fuck is you doing?”
“So you’re familiar. Dr. Redfield. Will you commit to the CDC right now using that existing authority to pay for diagnostic testing for each and every American regardless of insurance?” LA Mag reports.
Redfield stammered around the question, noting that the CDC would do “everything to make sure everyone” was treated and that his agency would coordinate with HHS to “operationalize” a payment system, to which Porter countered wasn’t “good enough.”
Porter pressed on.
“Dr. Redfield, I hope that answer weighs heavily on you. Because it is going to weigh heavily on me and on every American family. You don’t need to do any work to operationalize. You need to make a commitment to the American people so they come in to get tested. You can operationalize the payment structure tomorrow.”
“I think you’re an excellent questioner,” Redfield replied, “so my answer is yes.”
And this is the part of Friday in which Porter exclaimed, “That’s my bike punk!”
Porter actually didn’t gloat at all; she just made sure that America heard it.
“Everybody in America hear that?” Porter asked. “You are eligible to go get tested for coronavirus and have that covered regardless of insurance. Please, if you believe you have the illness, follow precautions, call first, do everything the CDC and Dr. Fauci—god bless you for guiding Americans in this time. But do not let a lack of insurance worsen this crisis.”
In short, Dr. Redfield, “You got knocked the fuck out!”
Watch it all unfold below: