Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

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Addie
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#26

Post by Addie »

OSHA.gov (PDF): Hospitals and Community Emergency Response What You Need to Know
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Suranis
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#27

Post by Suranis »

Let the outrage flow.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1242 ... 84736.html
Wendell Potter
@wendellpotter
Profile picture
2 days ago, 11 tweets, 3 min read
As a former health insurance exec, I don’t think any story better illustrates my old industry’s racket than the one I’m about to tell you: Right now, as we enter the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes (#COVID19), health insurers are still raking in record profits. (1/11)

With the COVID19 death & illness count growing each day, you might expect health insurance companies to be one of the industries taking a huge hit right now. After all, they must be reeling from all the medical care Americans now need & all the claims being filed. Right? (2/11)

Get ready to be outraged. The country’s big for-profit health insurers may actually be one of the huge winners from the pandemic. Among the few corporations to see big jumps in their stock price this week are Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna & Humana (where I used to work). (3/11)

Investors clearly believe insurers will make a killing, with one Wall Street analyst boosting Cigna to “strong buy.” As medical claims skyrocket how on earth is this possible? A toxic combination of skimping on coverage for COVID19 treatments & raising next year's premiums (4/11)

How do I know this? I used to handle financial information for Cigna & learned that industry CEOs reveal stuff to financial analysts they’d never say to the general public. Few reporters bother to listen in to insurers’ calls with analysts, but one who does is @bobjherman. (5/11)

.@BobJHerman reports that in a recent call with analysts, health insurance CEOs said they don’t expect their profits to fall due to COVID-19. They even expect to meet their most ambitious 2021 earnings goals (and they've already been seeing record profits in recent years). (6/11)

How do health insurers continue to see huge profits during this crisis? "If medical claims start to rise uncontrollably," @bobjherman reports, "they'll increase everyone’s premiums next year." Humana CEO Brian Kane put it more opaquely: “We would price for this for 2021.” (7/11)

They’re already prepping for big rate increases next year. California officials say they expect insurers to hike premiums up to 40% next year for plans in the state’s Obamacare exchange. Those getting coverage through employers should also brace for big premium hikes. (8/11)

In addition, Anthem’s CEO said his company expects to realize a “net saving” because hospitals are canceling non-emergency & elective procedures due to COVID-19. And we already know insurers are refusing to waive copays & deductibles for COVID-19 treatments. (9/11)

This is all music to investors' ears, who are rushing to buy these stocks. When the market closed today, the Dow was up 2.39%. By comparison:

*Cigna: Up 6.5%.
*UnitedHealthcare: Up 6.67%.
*Anthem: Up 9.93%.
*Humana: Up 14.92%.

It’s high times for the insurance racket. (10/11)

So, while many suffer serious illness or death -- and millions lose jobs & health insurance -- the industry sitting pretty in the United States right now is the health insurance industry.

That perfectly sums up all you need to know about healthcare in America in 2020.

(/END.)
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#28

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Reuters: One ventilator, two patients: New York hospitals shift to crisis mode
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AndyinPA
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#29

Post by AndyinPA »

I heard earlier today that the teenager in LA who died was turned away from the hospital because he didn't have insurance. I'll see if I can find a link again.
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Sugar Magnolia
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#30

Post by Sugar Magnolia »

AndyinPA wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:11 pm
I heard earlier today that the teenager in LA who died was turned away from the hospital because he didn't have insurance. I'll see if I can find a link again.
I read that too. He went to a clinic who said he had to go to an ER because he didn't have insurance. He coded in the ambulance, was brought back and died at the hospital. Not sure what more the clinic could have done than call for an ambulance for him though.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what the time lapse was between the clinic visit and the hospital ride.

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#31

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Reuters
Trump says U.S. will make 100,000 ventilators in 100 days

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States would produce 100,000 ventilators in 100 days and said he had named White House aide Peter Navarro as the coordinator of the Defense Production Act.

"We're going to make a lot of ventilators," Trump said, pledging to take care of U.S. needs while also helping other countries.

Trump said there was a great chance the United States would not need so many ventilators to fight the coronavirus outbreak, and would then help other countries in need.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#32

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Reuters
As U.S. cases exceed 100,000, doctors decry scarcity of drugs and equipment

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the U.S. coronavirus crisis pleaded on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the number of known U.S. infections surpassed 100,000, with more than 1,500 dead.

Physicians have called attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus.

Hospitals in New York City, New Orleans, Detroit and other virus hot spots also have sounded the alarm about scarcities of drugs, medical supplies and trained staff as the number of confirmed cases rose by 15,000 on Friday to just over 100,000.

That was down slightly from more than 16,000 new cases reported on Thursday, the largest one-day U.S. surge to date, but kept the United States as the world leader in the number of known infections, having surpassed China and Italy on Thursday.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#33

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Reuters
Bosch develops Corona test tool to detect virus in under 3 hours

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Robert Bosch on Thursday said it has developed a diagnostic tool for detecting the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in under three hours, potentially aiding the challenge of understanding how far the virus has spread.

Bosch's rapid molecular diagnostic test, which runs on its Vivalytic analysis device, can detect a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in under two and a half hours, measured from the time the sample is taken to the time the result arrives.

Another advantage of the rapid test is that it can be performed directly at the point of care, Bosch said, eliminating the need to transport samples.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#34

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NBC News: Trade war exacerbated shortage of medical equipment ...

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is spearheading plans for an executive order to have federal agencies such as the Departments of Health and Human Services, and Defense obtain medical equipment and supplies from American manufacturers.

“We need to have them buy that from American producers on American soil,” he told CNBC.

Trade experts say the timing couldn’t be worse. “There's absolutely no reason at all to do that now,” said Michael O. Moore, a professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University. “There's no long-term economic benefit to not allowing medical supplies to come in while we’re in the middle of a health crisis.”

Many of the key personal protective equipment items healthcare workers need are Chinese in origin. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, roughly half of the PPE items the U.S. imports come from China, and the percentages are much higher for some items: 70 percent of mouth-nose protective equipment and 57 percent of goggles and visors. Additionally, 45 percent of protective garments and 39 percent of gloves the U.S. imports come from China ...
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#35

Post by TexasFilly »

"That woman from Michigan" known to the nation as Governor Gretchen Whitmer told MSNBC that they were running out of swabs to do testing with. I happened to have a box of sterile long handled swabs in my house (don't ask) so I grabbed the box to see where they were made: China.
I love the poorly educated!!!

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#36

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Addie wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:31 pm
NBC News: Trade war exacerbated shortage of medical equipment ...

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is spearheading plans for an executive order to have federal agencies such as the Departments of Health and Human Services, and Defense obtain medical equipment and supplies from American manufacturers.

“We need to have them buy that from American producers on American soil,” he told CNBC.
:snippity:
As I highlighted elsewhere (upthread?) electronic components used for ventilators are produced only in China under license there. No way that those chip can get quickly produced in the US if ever.

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#37

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Addie wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:31 pm

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is spearheading plans for an executive order to have federal agencies such as the Departments of Health and Human Services, and Defense obtain medical equipment and supplies from American manufacturers.

“We need to have them buy that from American producers on American soil,” he told CNBC.
As I noted elsewhere, Navarro is a maroon.
There's no way back
from there to here

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Chilidog
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#38

Post by Chilidog »

While Illinois Governor Pritzger gets good marks for his response to the pandemic so far...

His call for retire health care professionals to return to work is insane.

My 82 year old retired nurse mother-in-law is NOT going back to work.

She's at risk as it is as her daughter, an ER nurse lives with her.

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#39

Post by ZekeB »

What? Do you mean to tell me that your MIL is not willing to give up her life so that her grandchildren can enjoy all the material benefits that life in the US may offer?
Trump: Er hat eine größere Ente als ich.

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#40

Post by Sugar Magnolia »

Chilidog wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:39 am
While Illinois Governor Pritzger gets good marks for his response to the pandemic so far...

His call for retire health care professionals to return to work is insane.

My 82 year old retired nurse mother-in-law is NOT going back to work.

She's at risk as it is as her daughter, an ER nurse lives with her.
It's voluntary, and apparently making a real difference in New York. It's not an insane request, it's just a request. She doesn't have to volunteer if she doesn't want to.

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#41

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WTVD
North Carolina startup gets approval for COVID-19 test that works in 15 minutes

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Old North State is rich in history, and a biotechology startup is adding its name to that history with one a COVID-19 breakthrough.

BioMedomics, Inc., a small research and development firm in Research Triangle Park, created one of the world's first rapid tests to detect COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The test only requires a small blood sample and can deliver results within 15 minutes.

"I think this type of test certainly is a game changer," Kent Lupino, Director of Marketing & Product Management, tells ABC11. "Antibody-based rapid tests like ours are well-suited for initially screening patients at the point-of-care, because they are fast and don't require any laboratory equipment to conduct the test."

How it works is a big part of why it's fast: instead of trying to detect the virus' genetic signature, or RNA, the BioMedomics test measures how the patient's body is reacting to the virus. In other words, it checks whether the body's immune system is reacting to the virus - or something else.
Adding:
Bloomberg: Abbott Launches 5-Minute Covid-19 Test for Use Almost Anywhere

Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as 5 minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting. The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics. The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can be detected in as little as five minutes when it’s present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#42

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NPR: FACT CHECK: N.Y. Governor Slams Trump Ventilator Claim As 'Ignorant' And 'Uninformed'
New York Times: Under Intense Criticism, Trump Says Government Will Buy More Ventilators

In another day of mixed messages, the president criticized G.M. and authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to force it to make ventilators after the company had already announced it was going to.
ProPublica: The Trump Administration Is Leaving the Nation’s Emergency Backup Hospital System on the Sidelines

Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs say they are ready to answer the call to assist HHS or FEMA. But the call has not come.
Daily Beast: ‘We’re Scared’: Doctors in New Coronavirus Hotspots Brace for ‘Tsunami’ of Patients

“I just don’t want Atlanta to be the next New York City,” an ER doctor told The Daily Beast, as cases in his city continue to surge.
Yahoo Finance: Republican Attorneys General push forward with lawsuit to dismantle Obamacare despite coronavirus
NBC News: Coronavirus challenges states that rejected Medicaid expansion, leaves uninsured with few options

"This outbreak is going to bring to light and highlight really strongly the types of disparities and the gaps in our health care system that leave people vulnerable," one expert said.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#43

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New York Times
Dr. Deborah Birx's comments 'startled' public health experts.

WASHINGTON — The White House coronavirus task force has featured two trusted medical voices, diplomatic but authoritative, able to gently push back on President Trump without incurring his wrath: Drs. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah L. Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator.

But this week, Dr. Birx’s comments casting doubt on talk of ventilator and hospital-bed shortages, and praising Mr. Trump’s attention to detail in lavish terms, have raised questions about her independence as the number of coronavirus infections in the United States has soared past 100,000.

Practically overnight, Dr. Birx has become a partisan Rorschach test. Conservative commentators have praised her as a truth-teller, pushing back on coronavirus hysteria. Critics of Mr. Trump accused her of squandering the credibility she had developed as a health official in Democratic and Republican administrations.

Dr. Birx’s comments, especially those dismissing ventilator shortages, startled some health experts. While most hospitals might have sufficient supplies at the moment, many worry about a crush of patients in the very near future.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#44

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Independent: Coronavirus: Drive-thru testing sites promised by Trump administration nowhere to be seen

Burden of organising and operating these testing sites falls to state and local governments
Adding:
New York Daily News: N.Y. state lawmakers fume over proposed Medicaid cuts amid coronavirus crisis
The Verge: Nursing home residents tested positive for the coronavirus before showing symptoms

Symptoms screening won’t help control outbreaks in facilities, CDC says
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#45

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Addie wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:26 am
:smoking:
ProPublica: The Trump Administration Is Leaving the Nation’s Emergency Backup Hospital System on the Sidelines

Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs say they are ready to answer the call to assist HHS or FEMA. But the call has not come.
:snippity:
:twisted: How ought they to know that such a thingy even exists when thy dumped Obamas transitioning efforts and sending in election helpers as contacts :?: :doh:


:brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall:

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#46

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Addie wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:26 am
:snippity:
Yahoo Finance: Republican Attorneys General push forward with lawsuit to dismantle Obamacare despite coronavirus
:snippity:
YahooFinance wrote:In brief, the argument is that if the mandate doesn’t have a penalty, it is no longer a tax, and without a tax, it is unconstitutional. If the individual mandate falls, they argue, the rest of the Affordable Care Act must fall with it.

The legislation, once a hallmark of President Obama’s presidency, turned 10 this week.

Paxton responded to Biden’s letter in a statement shared with Yahoo Finance.

“It’s unfortunate that a former Vice President would choose to play petty politics during a global crisis,” Paxton wrote. “Nevertheless, the facts are that Obamacare resulted in higher costs, fewer choices and a power imbalance between the people and their government. Even the mandate at its core was declared unconstitutional by a federal district court and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.”
A power imbalance - who thought that the government was there for the people and not to cash in for themselves ? :brickwallsmall:

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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#47

Post by AndyinPA »

Addie wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:58 am
New York Times
Dr. Deborah Birx's comments 'startled' public health experts.

WASHINGTON — The White House coronavirus task force has featured two trusted medical voices, diplomatic but authoritative, able to gently push back on President Trump without incurring his wrath: Drs. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah L. Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator.

But this week, Dr. Birx’s comments casting doubt on talk of ventilator and hospital-bed shortages, and praising Mr. Trump’s attention to detail in lavish terms, have raised questions about her independence as the number of coronavirus infections in the United States has soared past 100,000.
I heard that, and I was shocked, too. From the first time I saw her with regard to the pandemic, I've been unsettled by her. I looked up her credentials after the first time I saw her, and I was impressed. But I don't see her the way I see Dr. Fauci.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#48

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I posted this to Volki's thread the other day, but I think I should cross-post it here. If you haven't read it, you should.

The Atlantic - Ed Yong
How the Pandemic Will End

The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out. ...


The testing fiasco was the original sin of America’s pandemic failure, the single flaw that undermined every other countermeasure. If the country could have accurately tracked the spread of the virus, hospitals could have executed their pandemic plans, girding themselves by allocating treatment rooms, ordering extra supplies, tagging in personnel, or assigning specific facilities to deal with COVID-19 cases. None of that happened. Instead, a health-care system that already runs close to full capacity, and that was already challenged by a severe flu season, was suddenly faced with a virus that had been left to spread, untracked, through communities around the country. Overstretched hospitals became overwhelmed. Basic protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, began to run out. Beds will soon follow, as will the ventilators that provide oxygen to patients whose lungs are besieged by the virus.

With little room to surge during a crisis, America’s health-care system operates on the assumption that unaffected states can help beleaguered ones in an emergency. That ethic works for localized disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires, but not for a pandemic that is now in all 50 states. Cooperation has given way to competition; some worried hospitals have bought out large quantities of supplies, in the way that panicked consumers have bought out toilet paper.

Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle. ...

Having fallen behind, it will be difficult—but not impossible—for the United States to catch up. To an extent, the near-term future is set because COVID-19 is a slow and long illness. People who were infected several days ago will only start showing symptoms now, even if they isolated themselves in the meantime. Some of those people will enter intensive-care units in early April. As of last weekend, the nation had 17,000 confirmed cases, but the actual number was probably somewhere between 60,000 and 245,000. Numbers are now starting to rise exponentially: As of Wednesday morning, the official case count was 54,000, and the actual case count is unknown. Health-care workers are already seeing worrying signs: dwindling equipment, growing numbers of patients, and doctors and nurses who are themselves becoming infected. ...

Some manufacturers are already rising to the challenge, but their efforts are piecemeal and unevenly distributed. “One day, we’ll wake up to a story of doctors in City X who are operating with bandanas, and a closet in City Y with masks piled into it,” says Ali Khan, the dean of public health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A “massive logistics and supply-chain operation [is] now needed across the country,” says Thomas Inglesby of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. That can’t be managed by small and inexperienced teams scattered throughout the White House. The solution, he says, is to tag in the Defense Logistics Agency—a 26,000-person group that prepares the U.S. military for overseas operations and that has assisted in past public-health crises, including the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#49

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ProPublica: Expired Respirators. Reused Masks. Nurses in the Nation’s Original Covid-19 Epicenter Offer Sobering Accounts of What Could Come.

When nurses at one Washington State hospital complained about having to use expired respirators, they allege that staff were ordered to remove stickers showing the equipment was years out of date.
Adding:
Mother Jones: Coronavirus could cause health premiums to skyrocket, new study finds
The Hill: Cuomo to issue executive order allowing labor support in hospital delivery, recovery rooms
The Atlantic - Thomas Kirsch: What Happens If Health-Care Workers Stop Showing Up?

Unless the country does dramatically more to provide them with the equipment they need to do their job safely, it risks disaster.
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Re: Coronavirus: Health Care Industry

#50

Post by Addie »

WaPo: Desperate for medical equipment, states encounter a beleaguered national stockpile

On Feb. 5, with fewer than a dozen confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the United States but tens of thousands around the globe, a shouting match broke out in the White House Situation Room between Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and an Office of Management and Budget official, according to three people aware of the outburst.

Azar had asked OMB that morning for $2 billion to buy respirator masks and other supplies for a depleted federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment, according to individuals familiar with the request, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about internal discussions.

The previously unreported argument turned on the request and on the budget official’s accusation that Azar had improperly lobbied Capitol Hill for money for the repository, which Azar denied, the individuals said. ...

The dispute over funding highlights tensions over a repository straining under demands from state officials. States desperate for materials from the stockpile are encountering a beleaguered system beset by years of underfunding, changing lines of authority, confusion over the allocation of supplies and a lack of transparency from the administration, according to interviews with state and federal officials and public health experts.

The stockpile holds masks, drugs, ventilators and other items in secret sites around the country. It has become a source of growing frustration for many state and hospital officials who are having trouble buying — or even locating — crucial equipment on their own to cope with the illness battering the nation.
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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