Mar 19, 2020 - Health

Hospitals ask for $100 billion coronavirus bailout

A coronavirus surge tent outside an AdventHealth hospital in Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The health care industry, led by the American Hospital Association, asked Congress on Thursday for $100 billion to offset the expenses related to coronavirus testing and treatment.

The big picture: Other industries like airlines and hotels are asking for taxpayer bailouts as their operations grind to a halt. Hospitals and medical groups are asking for money as their operations prepare for a capacity overload.

What they're saying: "It is clear that the expenses associated with responding to COVID-19 will be extraordinary," the heads of the AHA, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association wrote to Congress, which is considering several stimulus packages.

  • The groups argue they need $100 billion to cover the lost revenue coming from delayed elective procedures, higher staffing and training costs, rising supply costs, child care needs for front-line health care workers, and creating extra capacity in other facilities.

Yes, but: Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers will still pay hospitals and doctors for all coronavirus care they provide. New billing codes also have been created.

Go deeper: The health care swamp has not been drained

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Small hospitals worry about getting bailout money quickly

A rural hospital in Washington state. Photo: Nick Otto/Washington Post via Getty Images

Congress is about to provide $100 billion for hospitals and other health care providers to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus, but small hospitals have no idea how to access those funds — and many need the money immediately.

What they're saying: "A lot of rural hospitals out there need a cash infusion today," Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, told Axios. "How is it going to happen? What is the process? There are way more questions than answers."

Go deeperArrowMar 27, 2020 - Health

Podcast: Bailing out the hospitals

For weeks, hospitals have been requesting federal aid to help cover soaring costs associated with coronavirus testing and treatment. Dan and Axios' Bob Herman discuss what the hospitals got and why it matters.

Go deeper: What health care got from the stimulus

What Biden's big Super Tuesday means for health care

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Health care has become the framework that defines the broader ideological and stylistic divisions within the Democratic primary — a contest between political revolution and Medicare for All vs. bipartisan compromise and a public option.

Yes, but: It's kind of a false choice. Passing either of those health care plans would require a knock-down, drag-out party-line brawl just as intense as the fight over the Affordable Care Act.

Go deeperArrowMar 4, 2020 - Health