The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I can see clearly now...

About 7 years ago I had Lasik eye surgery, and it changed my life. I was blind as a bat before the surgery, but now my vision is slightly better than 20/20. Marginal Revolution's Alex Tabarrok is seeing things clearly as well:

In 1998 the average price of laser eye surgery was about $2200 per eye. Today the average price is $1350, that's a decline of 38 percent in nominal terms and slightly more than that after taking into account inflation.

Why the price decline in this market and not others? Could it have something to do with the fact that laser eye surgery is not covered by insurance, not covered by Medicaid or Medicare, and not heavily regulated? Laser eye surgery is one of the few health procedures sold in a free market with price advertising, competition and consumer driven purchases. I'm seeing things more clearly already.

See? Not all health care costs are rising.


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