Billions in COVID relief go HCA Healthcare Inc and Tenet Healthcare Corp



A single-payer health-care system would save more than 68,000 lives and $450 billion a year,

Spared the worst of COVID-19, the largest for-profit hospital chains in the United States are pursuing a speedy recovery backed by billions of dollars in federal aid, while other hospitals say they have been harder hit and left wanting.

HCA Healthcare Inc, the biggest chain, has received $5.3 billion in loans and grants thus far from the federal government to offset lost business and higher expenses from the coronavirus pandemic. Tenet Healthcare Corp, the second-largest chain by revenue and beds, has disclosed more than $2 billion in similar loans and grants.

Meantime, the two chains, which own hundreds of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and clinics, are telling investors that COVID-19 wasn’t as severe as expected in most of their markets, and that business is ramping back up. Shares in Tenet have doubled since the market lows in mid-March, while HCA shares have soared more than 70%.

The two companies and other big health systems appear to be benefiting disproportionately from the initial government relief as some other hospitals struggle to stay afloat, according to industry analysts and health-policy experts.

Many smaller competitors face virus-related financial losses. <//>

The sole difference between American health care and health care around the world is the role of government in setting prices.

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