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Image The coronavirus crisis is about for-profit testing. At $100 a test per technician, it is a very profitable business. COVID-19 testing is not FREE.
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Cathy Vikulchik 2020-04-22 at 02:53

The coronavirus pandemic reveals just how devastating the greed of for-profit health insurance industry has become. Health insurers won't miss a chance to bankrupt sick people. And private labs are fueling a coronavirus testing crisis. Behind the scenes, the Trump administration, Republicans and health insurers are doing everything they can to deny care and maintain profits while making it look like they're our heroes. When Trump claimed in a tweet last month that major U.S. insurance companies "have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments" as the disease rapidly ravages the nation, health insurers, through a spokesperson for America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a major insurance industry lobbying group, swiftly replied: "Actually, we're only waiving copays for coronavirus testing, not treatment". Congresswoman Kim Nelson of South Carolina was quick to tell the public how Trump had lied in that tweet and denounce the greed of health insurance providers: "Insurance companies exist to make profits. They do not exist to provide you with healthcare. Profiting off a pandemic is beyond immoral." On top of that, the labs developing the tests are overcharging, and health insurers will factor that cost into what they charge their clients. Below is Dr Birx White House briefing's transcript that will make you think that this clique running the government as a Trump family-owned business is actually working hard for you: Dr BIRX: Yeah, so - I mean, I - you've heard me talk about tests for a while from the podium, and I think what has happened over the last several weeks is hospitals and clinics that could move to the more point-of-care tests move to those point-of-care tests. And what it's left is an amazing array of capacity that exists in the country for at least a million more tests per week. So we have a whole team working lab by lab to see what it would take to turn on all of those labs that aren't running the pieces of equipment now. So you see in the system - I just said to you there's a million more tests per week - that we have tests sitting there and equipment sitting there. And now we have to really deal with each single lab to really figure out what they need. And I just want to thank Administrator Verma - Seema Verma - who went through with us, and thanks to the lab directors, they really explained to us: highly technical difficulty to run some of these big pieces of equipment. Because you have to allocate the samples, you have to centrifuge, you have to put them on the machine. It takes a tech full-time. At $50 a test, it wasn't enough to hire another technician to run the machine full-time. So at $100 a test, it is. So those are the kinds of changes we have to make bit by bit by bit. But that alone doubles our testing capacity per week. So we're committed to work with laboratories to answer every one of their issues with the state and local governments. And, I think, frankly, in every conversation I have - and the governors will say, "I need 5,000 people tested." And I say, "Well, at the University of X, there are 6,700 tests waiting for you." So it's more of making sure that every governor and every public health official knows exactly where every lab is and where the tests are so we can create with them a real understanding so all these tests can be run. So, yes, there is twice the capacity right now.
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