How Hospitals And CEOs Raked In The Covid Cash While Leaving Americans Out To Dry

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Gage Klipper Contributor
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Twenty of the largest U.S. hospitals made enormous profits off of taxpayer money during the Covid pandemic, a new report from Open The Books revealed. While hospitals raked in the cash, the average, working American got poorer and sicker.

Auditors from the Chicago-based government watchdog group revealed that despite claiming to be “non-profit,” these hospitals raked in a combined $23 billion in Covid aid. Additionally, their cumulative net assets skyrocketed from $200 billion in 2018 to $324 billion in 2021 (a 62% increase), the most recent year financial data was available. This means that the same hospitals likely did even better in 2022, given that the Biden administration still continued to pump Covid-related money into the economy throughout the year. Out of the 20, only two of the hospitals partially paid their bailout back.

It’s unclear how all of this money helped the patients these hospitals are meant to serve, given that the life expectancy of the average American declined over 2.5 years between 2019 and 2022. This sharp drop isn’t from Covid alone. While other comparable countries saw a drop in life expectancy as well, they rebounded after 2021 as Covid became just one of many seasonal illnesses. (RELATED: ‘The Pandemic Is Over’: Kevin McCarthy Says Over $50 Billion Of Unspent COVID Funds ‘Belongs To Taxpayers’)

Furthermore, healthcare insurance premiums remain astronomical at over $22,000 on average, while 100 million Americans incur some amount of medical debt. The Trump administration issued a healthcare transparency rule to help patients make more informed medical decisions, but an independent audit found that less than 25% of hospitals complied with the rule as of 2023. None of the 20 hospitals listed in the Open The Books report complied with the rule.

Perhaps the money they should have used to improve patient outcomes went to their executives’ pay. While the average American got poorer and sicker over the past three years, hospital executives often took home eight-figure salaries.

For example, the report shows how the Providence St. Joseph Health hospital system operates a total of 52 hospitals and received a whopping total of $3 billion in Covid relief funds. However, an audit found that not one of its hospitals was in compliance with former President Donald Trump’s transparency rule, while its top executive received a salary of $10.9 million. Similarly, Ascension Healthcare group received $2.7 billion in Covid aid. Only 4% of its 105 hospitals that were reviewed were in compliance, while its top exec made $13 million.

What this report makes abundantly clear is that Democrats’ perpetual focus on improving American healthcare is nothing but empty talk. In fact, Democrats and hospital executives both had a common interest in prolonging the pandemic as long as possible.(RELATED: House Passes Pandemic Fraud Bill To Recover Billions In Illicit COVID-19 Unemployment Payments)

In the run up to the 2020 election, Democrats relied on Covid to oust Trump from office. Corporate media kept a running tally of Covid cases on their viewers’ screens for months on end to keep up the panic until November. The worse things seemed, the more Democrats and their media allies could portray Trump as bungling the Covid response to help sway undecided voters.

However, it is now clear that hospitals helped Democrats pad the numbers on Covid cases. For years, conservatives speculated that hospitals were over-counting cases of Covid to make the pandemic appear worse than it was. The corporate media responded by denigrating anyone who questioned the official narrative as a crazed conspiracy theorist.

It wasn’t until 2022 that the public health establishment admitted to manipulating the language around case counts. There is a major difference between those hospitalized from Covid, and those hospitalized with Covid. Up until 2022, the latter could be hospitalized for any reason but still count as a Covid hospitalization. U.S. hospitals all went along with the scheme. (RELATED: Teachers Fired For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine Offered Their Jobs Back In School Settlement)

It’s also clear that the healthcare industry overwhelmingly supported Biden over Trump in the 2020 election. Just before the election, hospitals and their employees donated $7 million dollars to the Biden campaign, representing 63% of the sector’s total donations. The figures are even worse when looking at some individual hospitals. For example, over 90 percent of Providence Health & Services’ donations in the 2020 election cycle went to Democrats.

Perhaps there was some sort of implicit understanding between the Democrats and the public health executives: if hospitals went along with prolonging Covid hysteria to help elect Democrats, the money would keep flowing in.

Perhaps a grateful Democratic administration would not worry too much about recouping Covid aid that the American taxpayers laid out.