While the Covid-19 crisis continues to widen the yawning gap between the super-rich and everyone else in the United States, it is a new one analysis The study released Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies shows that Tennessee’s billionaire Frist Family – the leading shareholders in the country’s largest private health conglomeration – has more than doubled its total net worth since March last year.
“I only make $ 13 an hour even though I work for the largest nonprofit hospital company in the country.”
– Jemelle Brown,
The IPS Policy Brief, entitled Deadline Family Pandemic Fortunes (pdf) shows the family of Thomas F. Frist Jr., who founded the Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA) with his father Thomas F. Frist Sr. and Jack C. Massey on March 18th in 1968 2020 to $ 15.6 billion on March 8, 2021, an increase of 108%.
According to IPS, the deadlines amassed more wealth during the pandemic than any of the country’s 27 billionaires in the health sector, which include big pharma and biotech owners and shareholders. The main findings of the report include:
- HCA made nearly $ 4 billion in profits during the 2020 pandemic, up more than $ 200 million from 2019;
- In 2019, HCA’s workforce was 29% below the national average. HCA’s low staffing levels have been linked to poor patient outcomes. For example, low staffing levels at HCA’s Colorado hospitals may have contributed to the patient’s death as well as other preventable harm.
- HCA CEO Sam Hazen received $ 27 million in 2019. This made him the highest-paid CEO in the hospital sector for the year (2020 numbers have not yet been released). and
- Hazen’s salary is 478 times the median HCA employee down from 383 times in 2018 and 1,038 times the lowest paid HCA employee. Hazen is paid about $ 13,000 an hour.
The report notes that during the pandemic, HCA continued to pay inadequate wages despite winning random prizes, while fighting union formation efforts and dangerous cuts in operating costs. HCA cut utility spending by $ 112 million “despite workers talking about inadequate PPE for months [personal protective equipment] and having to reuse single-use equipment like masks and gloves. “
NEW: As millions of health workers and patients have been devastated by COVID, others have been killing in the sector.
– Institute for Political Studies (@IPS_DC) March 8, 2021
Jemelle Brown, an environmental services technician at HCA’s Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, featured in the report, said, “HCA made nearly $ 4 billion in profits last year but pays me poverty wages, even if I risk my life for it. ” Job.”
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“I haven’t been able to afford to live for my son and myself for the past two and a half years because I only make $ 13 an hour even though I work for the largest for-profit hospital company in the nation,” Brown said. “During this pandemic, I signed Covid-19 at work and could have died – all for a job that doesn’t even pay me enough to make a living.”
Chuck Collins, co-author and director of the Inequality Program at the Institute for Policy Studies, said that “the Deadline HCA business model of squeezing employees and pinching pennies during a pandemic where their workers were on duty Even more troubling is health care frontlines. “
“While the deadlines have been sealed in protective bubbles, their workers make tremendous sacrifices to care for their patients,” said Collins. “The least they can do is give them protective gear and hazard payments that they deserve.”
“While the deadlines have been sealed in protective bubbles, their workers make enormous sacrifices to care for their patients.”
– Chuck Collins, IPS
IPS researcher and report co-author Omar Ocampo added, “HCA and the deadlines are among those pandemic profiteers whose fortunes have skyrocketed at a time of national tragedy.”
While the deadline is paramount among the profitable billionaires of the medical industrial complex, they are far from the only plutocrats making staggering profits during a pandemic killed 2.6 million people worldwide – including more than 525,000 in the US – and tens of millions of American workers without jobs. A January report from IPS and Americans for Tax Justice revealed that the nation’s 660 billionaires have contributed a total of $ 1.1 trillion to their fortunes since last March.
IPS notes that the total net worth of these 660 billionaires is currently about $ 4.2 trillion – that’s nearly double the collective net worth of $ 2.4 trillion, which is the entire bottom half of the U.S. population, or 165 million People owns.