How would you feel if you received a bill for more than $34,000 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus? This pandemic is showing the entire world that the U.S. healthcare system is deeply, deeply broken, and there is no way that we can continue to go on like this.
If coronavirus testing is quick, inexpensive and widely available all over the rest of the globe, why can’t that be the case here too? Democrats and Republicans have been fighting about fixing our healthcare system all the way back to the 1990s and they haven’t gotten the job done. Now we have a system that is a complete and utter embarrassment, and it is about to be overwhelmed by the greatest public health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
Even under normal circumstances, most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it will cost. I have written about this numerous times before, but not even I would have imagined that getting tested and treated for coronavirus would cost more than $34,000… A woman in the United States says she was billed $34,927.43 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus, Time magazine reports.
When Danni Askini first came down with the symptoms of the virus — shortness of breath, a fever, a cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. There, she was told she had pneumonia and could go home. She visited the emergency room two more times as her symptoms persisted and worsened before she was finally tested for the coronavirus. Three days later her results showed she had COVID-19. How in the world is it possible for a bill to get that high?
As Danni pointed out, she now owes the hospital more than she paid for both of her college degrees.
So this story is about my experience with COVID and my final hospital bill: $34,927.23 – an amount that I will never be able to repay and more than I paid to get both my Bachelors and Masters degree. @realDonaldTrump @ewarren @AyannaPressley please help! https://t.co/pJApXMPzcW— Danni Askini (@danniaskini) March 20, 2020
Sadly, she is going to be far from alone. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, coronavirus victims all over America are going to get hit with extremely high medical bills…
A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance—and without complications—would be about $9,763. Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills about double that: $20,292. (The researchers came up with those numbers by examining average costs of hospital admissions for people with pneumonia.)
What this means is that if even a single member of your family catches the virus it could instantly wipe you out financially, and this is especially true if you do not have health insurance.
Congress has passed a bill which will now cover the cost of coronavirus testing, but the bad news is that “it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment”…
Public health experts predict that tens of thousands and possibly millions of people across the United States will likely need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future. And Congress has yet to address the problem. On March 18, it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment.
For those that catch the virus, and officials are warning that will eventually be most of us, treatment is going to cost far, far more than testing will.
You may think that you will just tough things out at home, but if this virus hits you hard enough you will either go to the hospital or you will die.
For a moment, I would like for you to consider what a medical worker in Louisiana is saying about the patients that he is treating…
“With our coronavirus patients, once they’re on ventilators, most need about the highest settings that we can do. About 90% oxygen, and 16 of PEEP, positive end-expiratory pressure, which keeps the lung inflated. This is nearly as high as I’ve ever seen. The level we’re at means we are running out of options.
“In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a near drowning experience — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who inhale caustic gas. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly. That was what really shocked me.”
Many coronavirus victims have described being in a state where they constantly feel like they are drowning.
And this medical worker in Louisiana says that there is a really good reason for that, because the severe cases that he is treating are “essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full”…
“When someone has an infection, I’m used to seeing the normal colors you’d associate with it: greens and yellows. The coronavirus patients with ARDS have been having a lot of secretions that are actually pink because they’re filled with blood cells that are leaking into their airways. They are essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full. So we’re constantly having to suction out the secretions every time we go into their rooms.”
For the moment, there are still enough ventilators in the U.S. for everyone, but we are still in the very early chapters of this pandemic.
Over in Europe, many hospitals are already being completely overwhelmed. In Italy, one doctor is reporting that patients over the age of 60 are now being refused access to artificial respiratory machines…
Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60 as such machines are limited in number.
When things get bad enough, doctors are going to have to make choices about who lives and who dies here too.
It is hoped that the measures that are being taken all over the nation will start to slow down the spread of this virus.
But millions of Americans continue to go to work each day, and many of them simply can’t afford not to work.
In fact, it is being reported that many delivery drivers continue reporting for work each day even though they are clearly very sick…
An increasing number of the workers sorting those boxes, loading them into trucks and then transporting and delivering them around the country have fallen sick.
They have coughs, sore throats, aches and fevers — symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Yet they are still reporting for their shifts in crowded shipping facilities and warehouses and truck depots, fearful of what will happen if they don’t.
So the next time a delivery truck comes to your home, you may want to keep your distance.
We have never seen anything like this before. The entire western world is shutting down simultaneously, and it is being estimated that nearly a billion people are now under lockdown orders…
Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global coronavirus death toll shot past 11,000 and US states rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.
The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.
Needless to say, this is going to be absolutely devastating for the economy.
If you can believe it, Morgan Stanley is now projecting a 30 percent decline in U.S. GDP on an annualized basis during the second quarter…
We now see 1Q GDP dropping by 2.4% as economic activity has come to a near standstill in March, followed by a record-breaking drop of 30.1% in 2Q. We estimate that March will also mark the first drop in nonfarm payrolls, down 700k. We expect a record-high unemployment rate, averaging 12.8% in 2Q.
We assume sharp declines in areas of consumer discretionary spending like travel, dining out, other services and motor vehicle spending among others. This will leave a large hole in consumer spending in 2Q, when we expect real personal consumption expenditures to contract at a 31% annualized pace.
And the president of the St. Louis Fed is being even more pessimistic…
In an interview with Bloomberg, the president of the St. Louis Fed, predicted that U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, coupled with an unprecedented 50% drop in US GDP. That would be an outcome worse not only than every prior war the US has (officially) waged, but more than twice as dire as the worst days of the Great Depression.
It sure didn’t take much to plunge the U.S. into a horrifying economic depression.
Two months ago, everything seemed just fine to most people.
But now financial markets are crashing, workers are losing jobs at an unprecedented rate, and many of the businesses that are now being closed down will never open again.
Fear of the coronavirus has collapsed “the everything bubble”, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning…