“Every State for Itself” Spells Chaos

Even as the US government bought up ventilators to replenish a national stockpile, states scrambled to buy medical supplies from private companies in a chaotic spiral of bidding wars.
 
While it’s illegal to price-gouge crucial resources during an emergency, prices skyrocketed anyway.
 
Medical devices giant Medtronic quoted Louisiana $88 million for 2,000 ventilators—23% more than the average price of the same model a year ago.
 
“We found ourselves competing against not only other states but hospital systems and even the federal government,” said emergency physician Joseph Kanter, an assistant state health officer for the Louisiana Department of Health.
 
Kaiser Health News

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