The federal government has the authority to quarantine and isolate patients if officials believe them to be a public health threat–but the government doesn’t have to pay for it. “We didn’t have a choice. When the bills showed up, it was just a pit in my stomach, like, ‘How do I pay for this?’” says Frank Wucinski, who was quarantined along with his daughter. In other economical news about the coronavirus: sick days, gig workers, stocks, and more.
The New York Times: Kept At The Hospital On Coronavirus Fears, Now Facing Large Medical Bills
Frank Wucinski and his 3-year-old daughter, Annabel, are among the dozens of Americans the government has flown back to the country from Wuhan, China, and put under quarantine to check for signs of coronavirus. Now they are among what could become a growing number of families hit with surprise medical bills related to government-mandated actions. Mr. Wucinski, a Pennsylvania native who has lived in China for years, accepted the U.S. government’s offer to evacuate from Wuhan with Annabel in early February as the new coronavirus spread. His wife, who is not an American citizen and remains in China, developed pneumonia that doctors think resulted from Covid-19, the disease caused by the respiratory virus. Her father, whom she helped care for, was infected and recently died. (Kliff, 2/29)
The New York Times: Avoiding Coronavirus May Be A Luxury Some Workers Can’t Afford
Stay home from work if you get sick. See a doctor. Use a separate bathroom from the people you live with. Prepare for schools to close, and to work from home. These are measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended to slow a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Yet these are much easier to do for certain people — in particular, high-earning professionals. Service industry workers, like those in restaurants, retail, child care and the gig economy, are much less likely to have paid sick days, the ability to work remotely or employer-provided health insurance. (Miller, Kliff and Sanger-Katz, 3/1)
The Washington Post: Uber, Lyft Drivers Face The Spread Of Coronavirus With No Safety Net
Some workers here who provide on-demand rides and delivery services, but are independent contractors without many protections, are bracing for the spread of the novel coronavirus. Drivers have been scrubbing down their cars “inch by inch” between rides at local airport parking lots, according to Edan Alva, who drives full-time for Lyft in the Bay Area. Alva said the company has not communicated with drivers yet about the novel coronavirus, despite the risk of infection. (Tiku, 2/29)
The New York Times: Wall Street Has Lost Its Nerve. What Will It Take To Get It Back?
Wall Street has often adopted a simple playbook when facing a stock market plunge: “Buy the dip.” Not lately. In recent years, investors who jumped on downturns as chances to buy shares at bargain prices have profited from the move. Their buying, in turn, helped stabilize prices, snuffing out slumps before they morphed into panics. (Phillips, 3/1)
The Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Is Different. It’s Rapidly Hitting Supply And Demand.
Companies have endured financial meltdowns, civil wars and natural disasters. Now they are confronting a different kind of menace: a fast-spreading virus that has abruptly dented demand and supply across industries and continents. The novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 85,000 people, has swept through Asia and Europe, disrupted global travel and hobbled supply chains that churn out everything from smartphones to pharmaceuticals. In days, it went from pockets of woe to the top concern of chief executives world-wide. (Gryta and Adams, 3/1)
Bloomberg: Pandemic Panic Fattens Fortunes In Health Care And Tech
Not everyone lost money in last week’s epic stock market wipeout. Even as a tide of anxiety over the fast-spreading coronavirus vaporized more than $6 trillion from global equity markets, a select few grew richer. They all lead businesses that could profit in some way from the virus and proliferating numbers of hygiene-obsessed, housebound consumers. (Pendleton, Maloney and Stupples, 3/1)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/i-assumed-it-was-all-being-paid-for-who-gets-stuck-with-the-medical-bills-for-coronavirus-related-quarantine/