It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare in the United States is out of control. It’s also no secret as to why that is. For some reason it’s legal in the U.S. for companies to charge outrageous prices to hospitals for absolutely mundane things.
Case in point, the rulers you see above. The catalogue lists 100 rules for $80.40. So much for saving when you’re buying in bulk. Reddit user moby323 posted this on reddit to expose the waste that takes place in hospitals around the country.
So I asked our medical supply rep to get me a quote on these cheap semi-disposable plastic rulers which I use to measure surgical specimens.
He came back with a quote of $80.40 for a pack of 100. I went on ebay and bought the exact same rulers, 100 pack, for about $6.50 with $1.99 shipping. The markups that medical suppliers charge are out of control. What’s even crazier- we HAVE to order from them. In order to get these cheaper rulers I had to pay for them myself out of pocket.
Another crazy example is India ink: we use it to color the surgical margins on specimens. A bottle of India ink, (just regular ink like for drawing or whatever) from our supplier is about $114. I bought the exact same ink, brand, size, everything, from Hobby Lobby for $22.
That’s right, instead of lauding the employee for trying to avoid wasteful spending, moby323 was forced to pay for the cheaper rulers out of their own pocket.
This is a practice that needs to stop. The two lowest, most despicable forms of price gouging are those that take place during times of war (most famously during WWII, then offenders were put in prison) and during medical crises. Why aren’t out politicians, our representatives in Congress taking steps to make this sort of thing illegal? Just imagine the amount of money that could be saved every year of someone was to take a stand.
Sadly, we all know the answer to that. I’m sure there are quite a few politicians that own stock in companies that supply medical equipment. Not to mention the money they get from lobbyists. So, until this is addressed, wastefulness like this will continue unabated and continue to be passed on to all of us indefinitely.