High costs for some covid-19 tests are just because they can.

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The NY Times recently reported on a lab that had charged $380 for a covid test.  Your local CVS probably charges $20. The company which is a start-up named GS labs regularly charges $380 because they legally can. Welcome to healthcare capitalism American style. If this is not a strong argument for the government to play a role in healthcare prices, I am not sure there ever will be. Apparently,  GS labs who is headquartered in Nebraska is giving insurers and the public the business literally. Congress probably never realized that their legislation for covid-19 would fund a new company founded on loopholes they created that assures your insurer has to pay the bill, or do they? Insurers have been trying to fight back but on the other hand, there have been reports of United healthcare paying doctors less for services such as injection and covid tests than they cost to perform.   Opportunism runs in both camps and is good for none of us. Doctors have left their network due to underpayments. Eventually, we all pay with higher healthcare costs. Check out this NY Times article

This Lab Charges $380 for a Covid Test. Is That What Congress Had in Mind?

Insurers say it’s price-gouging, but a law left an opening for some labs to charge any price they wished.

By Sarah Kliff Published Sept. 26, 2021 At the drugstore, a rapid Covid test usually costs less than $20. Across the country, over a dozen testing sites owned by the start-up company GS Labs regularly bill $380. There’s a reason they can. When Congress tried to ensure that Americans wouldn’t have to pay for coronavirus testing, it required insurers to pay certain laboratories whatever “cash price” they listed online for the tests, with no limit on what that might be. GS Labs’s high prices and growing presence — it has performed a half-million rapid tests since the pandemic’s start, and still runs thousands daily — show how the government’s longstanding reluctance to play a role in health prices has hampered its attempt to protect consumers. As a result, Americans could ultimately pay some of the cost of expensive coronavirus tests in the form of higher insurance premiums.