President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence pledged a month ago that the federal government would cover the cost of Covid-19 treatment for Americans without health insurance, but the plan for distributing the money to providers who care for the most vulnerable Americans will likely be used to bail out the largest and most well-connected health care providers instead, current and former state and federal officials and other experts said.The two most recent coronavirus relief bills passed by Congress directed a combined $175 billion to a fund meant to help health care providers cope with the financial stresses caused by the need to pause normal operations during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.But the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is divvying them up among health care providers based not on need, but on how much money they made in prior years. Only a small fraction—$10 billion so far—has been set aside for facilities “in areas that have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.”CMS distributed half of the first $100 billion in the fund last week, beginning with an initial tranche of funds, or $30 billion, for “general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by Covid-19,” based on providers’ 2019… Read full this story
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