A number of years ago, when my son took on beekeeping in pursuit of a boy- scout badge, I received a brief education in medical costs.
A number of months after he began his project, when the three hives were just beginning to flourish and produce honeycomb, one of the hives contracted foulbrood, a bacterial disease of bees. Research quickly showed that the accepted cure was to place a solution of sugar and Terramycin at the entrance of the hive. Figuring that this involved some considerable expense, he asked me to go down to the farm supply store with him. Imagine my surprise when the proprietor handed him a pound of the drug – with a bill for $5.00! No prescription, no fuss, just a little brown paper bag marked “Terramycin”, with the seal of a famous drug manufacturer on the tape sealing the bag closed. In pill form, from a pharmacy, the cost would have been well into three digits. But the pills would have been medical.
I was reminded of this experience yesterday when I went to an electronics store for a new cell-phone. The new phone was equipped for “Bluetooth” (short distance digital radio) communication, so I popped for a Bluetooth ear-set. This unit was very small, fit into the ear with very little showing that it was in place. Digital sound, amplifier, transducer, two-way radio communication with the phone, a microphone and a rechargeable eight-hour battery. The cost was $69.99, less 10% off (on sale). I have a friend with a hearing aid, not much smaller than the ear-set. Lousy quality, class “D” amplifier, microphone and transducer. Period. Non-rechargable battery. Cost $2999.99.
Why such a high price for an inferior quality item? Well, it’s medical. Makes all the difference, don’t you know.
Ever wonder why medical care costs so much? Just because it’s medical.
John Cooley, author, "Dear Madman"