Today’s Times has a story about how the nation’s governors are worried that Congress will expand Medicaid without giving states more resources to pay their part.

This part requires further inquiry:

“Connie Baugh received a letter … from [Washington] state saying that as a result of budget cuts, Medicaid could no longer pay for the compression stockings that support her circulation and keep her aching leg ulcers from flaring.. … At $239 a pair, the stockings are more than one-third the value of the monthly Social Security check she lives on.”

I can’t be the only person who wondered: why do the stockings cost $239 a pair?

The $239 stockings could be a neat illustration of how amazing modern medical technology is, and how amazingly expensive that technology is.

Or:

They could be a neat illustration of how government payment for medical products pushes up the cost of those products well beyond reasonable levels.

It could even be a combination of both — that the stockings should be expensive because they improve quality of life for people like Ms. Baugh and also save money in other, averted medical costs, but that they shouldn’t be this expensive.

FW has put in a call to the Washington State Department of Social Services to learn more about the stockings — who makes them (to see if we could compare prices here), how the reimbursement rate was decided back when they paid for them, whether this was competitively bid, etc.

Meanwhile, if there are any doctors, nurses, compression-stocking salespeople, or compression-stocking consumers out there who have any insight, inquiring minds (or at least one) want to know …

You may also like

Nursing Home Vacancy Rate Soars, Hinting at a Higher Coronavirus Toll

The vacancy rate in New York's nursing homes has more than doubled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the death toll among residents may be thousands higher than officially reported. Read More

Cuomo Extends Slushy “Freeze” of State Worker Pay

A temporary freeze on scheduled pay hikes for state government employees (apparently) will continue through September while Governor Cuomo continues to count on aid from Washington to cope with the pandemic-induced economic and fiscal crisis. But the gove Read More

Federal Judges Have (Again) Upheld Public Worker Pay Freezes to Deal with Fiscal Crises

A federal appellate court has upheld a state-imposed freeze on pay increases for Nassau County employees—reaffirming the Legislature’s power to to every level of government in New Read More

New York’s Personal Income Pulse Weakened in First Quarter of 2020

Personal income growth in New York nearly flatlined in the first quarter of this year, reflecting the start of the economic shutdown triggered by the coronavirus crisis, according to by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Revised BEA data a Read More

Private Jobs Recovery was Glacial in NY as Reopening Began in May

Unlike its , New York's economic recovery began at a painfully slow rate during the normally buoyant month of May. the viral lockdown ordered by Governor Cuomo resulted in an economic catastrophe of historic proportions for the Empire State, culminati Read More

Unsure of COVID Impact, NY Insurers Roll Dice on Rate Hikes

The health insurance industry's rate applications for 2021, , reveal deep uncertainty about the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on medical costs. Some companies anticip Read More

As Local Sales Taxes Crash, Cuomo Rolls Out Police Plan Mandate

The pandemic-driven decline in sales tax revenues accelerated in May, when the local share statewide was down 32 percent from last year's levels, the state comptroller's office today. And as if their fiscal predicament wasn't bleak enough, municipalit Read More

State Goes on a “RAN” Run as NY Sinks into Deeper Fiscal Hole

While Governor Cuomo crawls further out on a fiscal limb, delaying threatened budget cuts in hopes of landing more federal aid, New York State is wrapping up its biggest short-term spring borrowing in 30 years. As listed on , the borrowing will take th Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.