COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus, is testing the U.S. public health system. And, unfortunately, things don’t look so good — especially if you’re one of the 87 million underinsured people in this country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has promised that coronavirus tests would be free. But that doesn’t mean that you can expect a free trip to the hospital. The New York Times recently reported that hospital trips for even a “free” test can cost thousands of dollars — which could be devastating for a family that doesn’t have insurance.

Hospitals aren’t the only winners here —  Big Pharma and biotech companies are cashing in, too. Take Novacyt PLC, a French biotech company that developed a test for COVID-19. The day they released the tests to the public, their stock surged more than 30 percent.

But if you think companies profiting off the coronavirus is bad, wait until the climate crisis worsens. Beyond even novel outbreaks like COVID-19, more familiar health threats are set to spread like wildfire.

Read the full article at Common Dreams.

Josue De Luna Navarro is the New Mexico Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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