And we wonder why health-care costs skyrocket

And we wonder why health-care costs skyrocket

: David Isenberg finds this tale of a doctor scalping flu shots in Boca:

One man in the flu shot line Monday at Publix in the Garden Shops at Boca told a tale of trying to pay a doctor to get a flu shot for his mother.

  • Penschool

    Health care costs skyrocket because of greedy HMOs. This is just a greedy doctor.

  • derby

    I thought we in American worshipped at the altar of “supply and demand.” Isn’t this merely charging what the market will bear?

  • http://soundandfury.typepad.com/ dan

    Jeff,
    While certainly a hair-raising anecdote, I don’t quite see how a mercenary doctor exploiting an unforeseen interruption in the distribution of flu vaccines tells us much that’s useful about skyrocketing health care costs.
    As CNN recently reported: “…the supply of vaccine to the United States was abruptly cut in half” because “British regulators unexpectedly shut down a major flu-shot supplier…”
    (http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/10/06/flu.vaccine.ap/)
    While government regulations may certainly contribute to skyrocketing health care costs, it’s probably unwise to over-generalize from even that, actually relevant, aspect of the current situation to problems in the health care system in general.

  • david

    Ummmm the doctors wouldn’t be able to charge such a high price if a rich schmuck wasn’t willing to pay any cost to get to the head of the line. They say over 36,000 people die from flu related symptoms every year I wonder how many of them are rich people who can afford to pay a $1000 just for a flu shot.
    What is the guy worried about? If he can afford to pay a grand for a flu shot more than likely he can pay to see a doctor if he does come down with any symptoms.
    The people who should be worried are those that won’t be able to bribe a doctor to give them a flu shot and won’t be able to visit one if they get sick. May they RIP.

  • Mike

    So when did getting a flu shot become a right? Did we adopt an amendment that I wasn’t aware of?

  • derby

    I think that when the government has taken over the supply and distribution an essential vaccine and one can get it nowhere else, it is reasonable to expect that the government ensure supplies will be sufficient.
    I don’t know anyone who asserts they have a “right” to a flu shot, but many feel this debacle is the government’s responsibility.

  • Tollhouse

    Sounds like a nice urban myth in the making.
    Monkey fishing maybe?

  • ZF

    Sure this could be an ‘urban myth’, but it could also be true, especially in Florida.
    Having worked directly with doctors, who often despite their high incomes have financial problems, my advice is always: ‘never ask for your doctor’s opinion on a day when he is worrying about how to make the next payment on his boat’.
    How do you know if this is one of those days? Typically you don’t. Second opinions can be very good for your health.