Within Healthcare USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter

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      If you happen to provide healthcare services to actual Covid-19 patients—as a nurse or a doctor, an orderly or a physician’s assistant—this has been the year from hell. Amid the worst worldwide pandemic in over a century, you’ve been working long, intense, chaotic hours. You’ve watched patients die at rates unimaginable just six months ago. You’ve watched colleagues die. You’ve worried that you may be bringing death home to your families.

      If you work in healthcare but don’t interact with pandemic patients, the months since March haven’t exactly been easy street either. In April alone, 1.4 million healthcare workers lost their jobs, as virus-free Americans delayed and cancelled appointments and elective procedures.

      If, on the other hand, you swivel your day away in a corporate healthcare executive suite, these difficult and horrific months of Covid-19 have been among the most rewarding—financially—you’ve ever seen. The “vast majority” of healthcare companies, Axios reports, “are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.”

      Health insurers are leading the way, enjoying earnings, as a New York Times analysis puts it, “double what they were a year ago.” UnitedHealth, for instance, registered $6.7 billion in 2020 second-quarter profits, up from $3.4 billion in last year’s second quarter.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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