Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Private equity companies have borrowed at least $1.5 billion from the federal government through programs intended to provide emergency funding to struggling health care companies during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

Between the lines: Some of the hospitals, clinics and treatment centers benefiting from the Medicare loans — which could plausibly end up being forgiven — are owned by the richest investment firms.

Details: Some of the firms that have received such loans are swimming in cash.

  • KKR, which has received $60 million via subsidiaries of KKR-owned companies, has more than $58 billion of cash to invest.
  • Apollo Global Management started the year with about $46 billion, but its health care facilities received at least $500 million in loans.
  • Steward Health Care System, owned by Cerberus Capital Management, received at least $400 million. Cerberus was attempting last month to grow one of its investing funds to $750 million. Steward physicians announced yesterday that they are buying the company from Cerberus.

The big picture: The HHS programs making the loans were expanded by Congress earlier this year to help health care companies financially slammed by the pandemic, as elective care skid to a halt.

  • CMS administrator Seema Verma told Bloomberg that the agency's goal was to get the money out quickly. "We don't look into ownership, what we look into is are they Medicare-enrolled providers," Verma said.
  • KKR has been in the political spotlight for months for its role in the surprise billing debate.

Go deeper: Private equity's slow creep into doctors' offices

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."
58 mins ago - Health

Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.