Apr 30, 2020 - Health

Big Food is built to outlast smaller competitors

Felix Salmon, author of Edge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Large farms, food processors and restaurant operators have much brighter prospects than their smaller counterparts grappling with the coronavirus crisis.

The big picture: They have access to capital markets, including the trillions of dollars being injected into the fixed-income markets by the Federal Reserve.

  • The top three meat processors — Tyson Foods, JBS and Cargill — account for about ⅔ of the market and therefore count as being too big to fail. Hence President Trump's decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep their facilities running.
  • Big farms have a bright future selling to China, which has promised to buy more than $40 billion of U.S. agricultural goods and which is facing a severe domestic pork shortage.

The bottom line: The total amount that we eat isn't going down. If the food we're eating isn't coming from small farmers, it's coming from large ones.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper

Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After being told for months to stay away from others, the idea of being shoulder to shoulder again in a bus or subway terrifies many people, requiring sweeping changes to public transit systems for the COVID-19 era.

Why it matters: Cities can't come close to resuming normal economic activity until large numbers of people feel comfortable using public transportation.

The policies that could help fix policing

 Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

George Floyd's death has reignited the long and frustrating push to reform a law enforcement system whose systemic flaws have been visible for years.

Why it matters: Solving these problems will require deep political, structural and cultural changes, experts and advocates say — but they also point to a handful of specific policy changes that, while not a cure, would make a difference.

32 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus diagnostic test pricing is relatively tame

A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site run by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anecdotes of labs charging thousands of dollars for coronavirus diagnostic tests are the exception rather than the rule, according to data provided to Axios by a national health insurer.

Yes, but: Some labs that don’t contract with the insurer charged rates that are multiple times higher than what Medicare pays for the diagnostic tests, and in some scenarios, patients may be at risk of receiving surprise bills.