Thursday night owls: New York & other locales getting gouged big time for medical equipment

Thursday night owls: New York & other locales getting gouged big time for medical equipment

Night Owls is a themed open thread at Daily Kos.

At ProPublicaLydia DePillis and Lisa Song write—In Desperation, New York State Pays Up to 15 Times the Normal Prices for Medical Equipment:

With the coronavirus outbreak creating an unprecedented demand for medical supplies and equipment, New York state has paid 20 cents for gloves that normally cost less than a nickel and as much as $7.50 each for masks, about 15 times the usual price. It’s paid up to $2,795 for infusion pumps, more than twice the regular rate. And $248,841 for a portable X-ray machine that typically sells for $30,000 to $80,000. […]

With little guidance from the Trump administration, competition among states, cities, hospitals and federal agencies is contributing to the staggering bill for fighting the pandemic, which New York has estimated will cost it $15 billion in spending and lost revenue. The bidding wars are also raising concerns that facilities with shallow pockets, like rural health clinics, won’t be able to obtain vital supplies.

As the epicenter of the pandemic, with about 40% of the nation’s coronavirus cases, New York state is especially desperate for medical equipment, no matter what the tab. “We know that New York and other states are in the market at the same time, along with the rest of the world, bidding on these same items, which is clearly driving the fluctuation in costs,” budget office spokesman Freeman Klopott said in an email.

The Office of General Services, New York’s main procurement agency, declined to say which sellers were inflating prices for essential medical gear. “At this moment in time the New York State team is focused on procuring goods and services based on current market conditions,” OGS spokeswoman Heather Groll wrote in an email. “There will be time to look back and pull together info on all this, that time will be when the pandemic is over.”

New York isn’t the only government paying whatever it takes — and keeping quiet about who’s overcharging.

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QUOTATION

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             ~~Albert EinsteinMonthly Review, 1949

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Republicans: Repeal health care law, forget about replacing it:

Remember the Republican campaign promise of 2010 about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act? As plenty of observers have noted, Greg Sargent the most persistent among them, we’ve gotten plenty of repeal, but no replace. They’ll point at a bill they called the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act,” but it’s not a health care reform bill, it’s tort reform.

But Jonathon Bernstein is absolutely right here when he says that the replace part of their formula has been a “fraud” from the beginning, “cooked up presumably because a flat-out repeal of health care reform polls much worse than replacing it with some unspecified legislation.”

You needn’t look any further than what they were saying on Jan. 17, 2011, to see that they never intended to replace the law.[…]

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