As jobs and businesses vanish, and prices go up, Americans could soon face another expense – the expense of proving that they’re “healthy.”
While the government tells us that the Covid vaccinations are going to be “free,” are they really? Let’s take a look.
How much will it actually cost to get vaccinated against Covid?
While the government is paying for the vaccine itself, it will still cost money for most people to get injected with it.
However, providers will be able to bill you an administrative fee for giving the shot to patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This would be similar to paying a charge when you visit the doctor’s office, or for specialized vaccine delivery, such as infusion, a process in which a substance — like medication, a chemotherapy drug or hydration — enters the bloodstream intravenously.
…If you receive a bill for administration fees, it’s still unclear whether or not those will be covered in full. It’s a good idea to contact your local provider or health insurance company for more details on whether you’ll be charged additional fees before receiving a vaccine. It might be that you have more than one option for immunization, including finding a medical provider that would give you the vaccine free of charge, or offer a more straightforward approach to reimbursement if you’re charged. (source)
So it’s kind of free, sort of, unless somebody charges you but then you might be able to get your money back. Multiply by your number of family members.
And what about all the apps for proving you’ve gotten vaccinated? Will that be government-funded or will people pay a few bucks to the app store to download it onto their smartphones? What about people who don’t have phones? What about those who can no longer afford phone service?
I think it’s pretty easy to see that this could become an escalating expense for some and completely unaffordable for others. If you’ve never been in a position where an added $5 expense could make or break your grocery bill, then it may be difficult for you to understand how tough this could be on families who have suddenly found themselves living in ever-deepening poverty.
How will you manage if you can’t prove that you’re covid-free?
Soon, all sorts of businesses and services may require people to prove that they don’t have covid with a recent test (probably not a free one once people are doing the tests for recreational purposes) or proof of vaccination.
But that’s not all. Schools and workplaces may make proof of health mandatory as well. So what happens if you can’t afford your vaccine or documentation? Does that mean your kids can’t go to school and that you can’t go to work? What if you’ve been out of work for months but to get a new job, you must show your proof of health and/or vaccination?
And what about public transit? I’m not talking about flights to Europe – I’m talking about taking the bus or an Uber so you can get to work? What about entering stores? As private businesses, they have the right to choose those with whom they do business as long as discrimination can’t be proven. How can a poor person get from Point A to Point B if they can’t afford vaccination and proof of vaccination?
Who needs a social credit system when you can just shut down entire sectors of society because they can’t provide proof they’ve gotten their shots? You know, like the little rabies tag your dog gets for his collar after he’s vaccinated by the vet.
The transfer of wealth has been enormous…and will continue to be.
Covid and the subsequent government restrictions have all but wiped out the middle class, sweeping millions of formerly financially comfortable families into debt and poverty as they struggle to survive. Countless businesses have collapsed under the weighty mandates. Chapter 11 Bankruptcies are up by 48% this year. Meanwhile, enormous corporations like Walmart, Home Depot, and Amazon have seen soaring profits.
Jim Cramer, a financial analyst for CNBC calls it one of the greatest transfer of wealth in history.
The coronavirus pandemic and corresponding lockdown made way for “one of the greatest wealth transfers in history,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday.
The stock market is rising as big business rebounds from state-ordered stoppage of nonessential activity, while small businesses drop like flies, the “Mad Money” host said.
“The bigger the business, the more it moves the major averages, and that matters because this is the first recession where big business … is coming through virtually unscathed, if not going for the gold,” he added. (source)
Cramer believes that the recovery of the stock market has little or nothing to do with the recovery of the economy at large – for which his outlook is grim. Although he supports another stimulus package for small businesses, it’s unlikely to be enough.
“The companies that took the money just got a big break: they only need to spend 60% on their employees to get the loans forgiven, down from the original 75%. That’s important, as most small businesses fail because they can’t afford to pay the rent,” Cramer said.
“But, in the end, the stimulus package probably won’t be enough, for one simple reason,” he said. “It’s not going to work because of social distancing.” (source)
And he’s right – what good will paying the rent do (aside from short-term good for the property owner) if nobody is allowed to patronize the business due to more government-mandated shutdowns?
What happens next?
As these giant companies rake in the profit and Mom & Pop businesses go under, what happens next? Finding a job right now is next to impossible and it will soon be even harder as the second wave of lockdowns intensifies. More businesses will go under. More jobs will disappear.
And then the much-vaunted vaccine will arrive to save the day (also making a hefty profit for Big Pharma – don’t leave them out when you think about this transfer of wealth.) It’ll save the day for those who can afford it, anyway. And for those who can afford to prove they’ve gotten it.
The rollout of the vaccine isn’t going to happen overnight either. There are over 330 million people in the US, but Pfizer says it expects to send the US 25 million doses by the end of 2020, or enough to vaccinate about 12.5 million Americans, as each recipient will need two doses. That’s roughly the populations of New York City and Los Angeles combined. Moderna, which has a similar type of vaccine as Pfizer, says it will be able to make about 15 million vaccine doses at first, which can treat 7.5 million people (again, two shots per person). (source)
Poor folks aren’t going to go straight to the front of the line. As it stands, senior government officials are at the front of the line, then healthcare workers, then employees and residents of nursing homes. Next will be essential workers, those with comorbidities, and the elderly. Each state’s governor will decide the pecking order. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the ordinary person shouldn’t expect a vaccination until April, May, or June of 2021.
Oh – or if you have the option of making a $25,000 donation to a hospital, you might be able to bump the line and get your vaccination before the peons do.
So don’t expect all this to happen quickly. Don’t expect the jobs to come back, the businesses to reopen, and life to return to normal when the calendar flips to 2021.
And unless you’re rich, you might not ever see that pre-covid normal again.