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Red Tape Adds $169 Billion To U.S. Medical Tab

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NU Online News Service, Oct. 12, 2004, 6:02 p.m. EDT

Bad and inefficient health services regulations may cost the average U.S. household about $1,500 per year.[@@]

Christopher Conover, a health policy researcher at Duke University, has published that estimate in a newsletter published by the Cato Institute, Washington.

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Conover concedes that the medical tort system and regulation of health facilities, health professionals, health insurers, drugs and medical devices may provide about $170 billion in benefits per year, but he says he believes his tally shows annual tort and regulatory costs exceed $339 billion.

Other researchers’ estimates of the total cost of health services regulation have ranged from $28 billion to $657 billion, Conover writes.