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

Go deeper

The coronavirus is making it even harder to care for seniors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Caring for older adults was already expensive, emotionally taxing and logistically difficult — and the coronavirus is only making it worse.

Why it matters: People older than 65 have the highest risk of dying from the virus, and outbreaks have been rampant in long-term care facilities. That is creating anxiety for seniors and their families.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places. The measure is effective Friday and applies to places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from the novel coronavirus and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

The EU makes its move on a green coronavirus recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The European Commission this morning proposed a $825 billion package of economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic that includes financing for renewable energy, electric vehicle charging and other emissions-friendly projects.

Why it matters: The energy components of the "Next Generation EU" plan, part of a wider multi-year budget proposal, appear to be the most substantial attempt yet to stitch low-carbon investments into economic recovery plans.