Government COVID Bailouts Made Wealthiest Hospitals Even Richer

The Hour reports that some of the wealthiest hospitals in the U.S. became richer during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to government bailouts, a form of socialism:

Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest nonprofit hospital system in Texas, laid off 1,200 employees and furloughed others as it braced for the then-novel coronavirus to spread… The federal government rushed $454 million in relief funds to help shore up its operations…

But Baylor not only weathered the crisis, it thrived. By the end of 2020, Baylor had accumulated an $815 million surplus, $20 million more than it had in 2019, creating a 7.5 percent operating margin that would be higher than most hospitals’ profits in the flushest of eras, a KHN examination of financial statements shows.

Like Baylor, some of the nation’s richest hospitals and health systems recorded hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses after accepting a substantial share of the federal health-care bailout grants, their records show. Those included the Mayo Clinic, Pittsburgh’s UPMC and NYU Langone Health. But poorer hospitals – many serving rural and minority populations – got a tinier slice of the pie and limped through the year with deficits, downgrades of their bond ratings and bleak fiscal futures.

“A lot of the funding helped the wealthy hospitals at a time, especially in New York, when safety-net hospitals were hemorrhaging,” said Colleen Grogan, a health policy professor at the University of Chicago. “We could have tailored it to hospitals we knew were really suffering and taking on a disproportionate amount of the burden.”

(Source: , Photo Credit: Baylor Scott & White Health/YouTube)

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