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ELLEN ANDREWS

Many COVID-19 heroes risk their lives or have died caring for others. We all owe great thanks to health care providers, scientists, public health professionals, and other frontline workers. But the health service was going well. Four of the 10 companies Those who have benefited most during the pandemic are in healthcare.

Pharmaceutical companies and their executives are the biggest COVID winners. Executives in the pharmaceutical industry could walk the federal government’s $ 22 billion COVID vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, for being exempt from customary conflict of interest requirements. According to Nina Burleigh’s “Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America’s Response to the Pandemic” in Forbes, “Moderna and Pfizer executives cashed the vaccine and sold stocks that matched the clinical trial press releases.”

Pfizer’s pre-tax profit on his vaccine is estimated at $ 990 million. Unlike other companies, Pfizer doesn’t to take Federal funds to develop or manufacture the vaccine, but it received federal contracts for vaccine doses worth billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. And Pfizer’s partner in vaccine development, BioNTech, received $ 445 million from the German government. Pfizer also received billions in private donations to develop and test the vaccine.

Pfizer isn’t the only pharmaceutical company that has benefited from this. In return for massive subsidies for Operation Warp Speed, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca pledged not to benefit from their COVID vaccines during the pandemic. However, they didn’t need to share their vaccine knowledge at the taxpayers’ expense in order to help the public with the next pandemic. Both companies made huge profits during the pandemic, mostly from pharmaceuticals. Johnson & Johnson Net Income $ 6.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, up $ 400 million from the first quarter last year. AstraZenecas Operating profit was $ 1.9 billion for the first quarter of this year, roughly double last year. Moderna posted those from this company first quarterly Profit of $ 1.2 billion from its vaccine earlier this year.

Concerns at the start of the pandemic that insurers could be hit hard were misplaced. Insurers made big bucks in 2020 because providers canceled voting procedures at the start of the pandemic and consumers delayed routine supplies. For the first time in US history Health expenditure decreased in 2020. Because the Affordable Care Act limits the administration and profits of insurers, it is estimated that they must Return $ 2.14 billion this profits to consumers and payers. Insurers are expected to continue benefiting from COVID this year as federal policy changes in response to COVID and the effects of the recession, including higher enrollment on the exchanges and higher premium subsidies that apply to more people.

We won’t know until the fall of this year, but there are early signs that Connecticut hospitals and their major healthcare systems have also been spared financially last year. Connecticut hospitals received Over $ 1 billion in state and federal COVID relief funds. Unlike nursing homes and other health sectors Employment in the Connecticutut hospital has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels. US hospital expenses recovered to $ 60 billion in March this year, more than it did two years ago. COVID tests became a very profitable service for many hospitals.

Large health systems, mostly run by hospitals, are getting bigger Use of COVID aids buy more doctor’s offices. During this shift started in Connecticut before the pandemic, COVID has accelerated the trend. Find studies that this consolidation only increases prices and expenses without improving the quality of care. This COVID consequence could have lasting effects and accelerate rising healthcare costs in Connecticut far into the future.

COVID has been a terrible burden on frontline workers, vendors, and the economy, but it has been a boon to the healthcare industry.

Ellen Andrews, PhD, is the executive director of the CT project on health policy. Follow her on Twitter @CTHealthNotes.

The author’s views, opinions, positions, or strategies are solely his and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.