Despite leaving nearly every other sector of the economy in ruins, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a windfall for the for-profit healthcare industry, which is expecting to make dazzling profits off of the crisis. Just as the pandemic was first hitting America, Potter says, UnitedHealthcare began strongarming its doctors into accepting pay cuts of up to 60 percent in an effort to nickel and dime employees and ensure they were operating with the minimum number of staff possible. As a result, even patients at in-network hospitals risk receiving surprise bills after being treated by out-of-house medical professionals, seeing as UnitedHealthcare does not directly employ enough staff.As a result, even patients at in-network hospitals risk receiving surprise bills after being treated by out-of-house medical professionals, seeing as UnitedHealthcare does not directly employ enough staff. “Patients are getting crushed financially because of UnitedHealth’s actions. And, believe it or not, some doctors may as well,” Potter says, concluding that, “As ER docs & other physicians risk their lives treating COVID-19 patients, UnitedHealth is playing games to rake in profits.”
Hospitals overflowing with sick and dying patients. Overworked staff risking their lives wearing garbage bags as makeshift protective equipment against an invisible but deadly virus. Refrigerated containers left outside medical facilities, filling with the dead. Mass graves being dug in the city. It is like something out of a horror movie. But it is very real and is happening right now in America. “We are doing the best we can,” Derrick Smith, a certified registered nurse anesthetist in New York City told MintPress last week, “but people are dying left and right, no exaggeration.” “I’ve never imagined or seen our healthcare system take such a beating before,” he said. “This is something that none of us have ever really seen.”
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