Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a briefing yesterday on the administration's coronavirus response. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Now that the coronavirus diagnostic test works, the next issue to grapple with is whether it's affordable.

Why it matters: People worried about getting hit with large medical bills if they get tested for the novel coronavirus may delay going to the doctor, or not go at all — the opposite of what needs to happen as public health officials seek to contain the virus' spread.

What they're saying: "We are very concerned about affordability and access. We want to incentivize private sector development while protecting patients from costs and making sure they get the interventions they need to control the spread," a senior White House official said.

  • "I think the principle here should be that nobody has to remain sick and remain infectious because they can't cough up the money for a test or, eventually, a vaccine," Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told me.
  • "Keeping the price down of a diagnostic test is gonna be critical. Because people aren’t going to do it" if it's unaffordable, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) said.

Details: The CDC pays for the test, but that's unlikely to remain the case if and when it becomes available through private labs.

  • Patients could also struggle with the cost of the doctor's office or hospital visit itself, said the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt.

Case in point: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last night that insurers in the state will be required to waive cost-sharing associated with coronavirus testing, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits.

Go deeper: Washington schools shut as Gov. Inslee seeks $100M to fight coronavirus

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.