[FoRK] Accidental theorist lost, wanted back

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Thu Jul 16 14:25:11 PDT 2009


On Jul 16, 2009, at 1:50 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
> As just one clear example of the kind of artificially enforced  
> inefficiencies:
> Many people have severe snoring and sleep apnea, which is now known  
> to cause several issues.  You can buy a CPAP device and mask for as  
> little as $300 that cures the problem with essentially no risks to a  
> reasonably healthy person.  Except it is RX only, so the minimum  
> costs of the process and equipment amount to $2000-4000.
>
> Or people who go for appointments ($100-180 for a specialist) to  
> have measurements taken that could have been done at home.  Temp and  
> blood pressure devices are available at the pharmacy, however pulse/ 
> Ox and ECG machines are supposed to be RX only.  You can get a  
> pocket pulse/ox for <$100 and a pocket, recording ECG with display  
> for $400.  An office ECG probably costs $200 each.  (They are  
> better, but the pocket device is good enough for many checks.)


In other words, deregulation of the medical industry would markedly  
reduce cost.

Yet all the standard paternalistic arguments for the regulation still  
very much apply in the cases you cite above. Are we finally at the  
point where we as a society are willing to slightly increase the  
incidence of bad outcomes for significant reductions in cost? I doubt  
it.

J. Andrew Rogers



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