Price to Beat

To the Editor:

Mr. Charlie Murphy of Bennington has taken me to task on this page for observing that the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (and its competitors) offer an all-in price of $12,000 for a coronary artery bypass graft operation, compared to a national average of $123,000.

Mr. Murphy’s better idea, so far as I can tell, is to have the taxpayers pay the national average $123,000 for a CABG operation that can be done for $12,000.

Here’s my solution: let the taxpayers give the qualified working class patient $12,000 for the operation, $10,000 for travel and hotel expenses for the patient and a spouse or partner to Oklahoma City (if that’s the nearest facility), $5,000 for follow up and medications back home, and allow $3,000 for the government paperwork. Total: $30,000. Let the taxpayers keep the $93,000.

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