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Yes, externalities are real – we’re all paying for Ivermectin

Summary:
Some libertarians oppose vaccine mandates by claiming that unvaccinated people only impose costs on themselves. However, as I noted in an earlier post, we’re all paying for the vaccine hesitancy stirred up on the right. From JAMA (footnotes omitted): Findings suggest that insurers heavily subsidized the costs of ivermectin prescriptions for COVID-19, even though economic theory holds that insurers should not cover ineffective care. Wasteful insurer spending on these prescriptions, estimated at .5 million in the week of August 13, 2021, would extrapolate to 9.7 million annually. For perspective, this total exceeds estimated annual Medicare spending on unnecessary imaging for low back pain, a low-value service that has received extensive

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Some libertarians oppose vaccine mandates by claiming that unvaccinated people only impose costs on themselves. However, as I noted in an earlier post, we’re all paying for the vaccine hesitancy stirred up on the right.

From JAMA (footnotes omitted):

Findings suggest that insurers heavily subsidized the costs of ivermectin prescriptions for COVID-19, even though economic theory holds that insurers should not cover ineffective care. Wasteful insurer spending on these prescriptions, estimated at $2.5 million in the week of August 13, 2021, would extrapolate to $129.7 million annually. For perspective, this total exceeds estimated annual Medicare spending on unnecessary imaging for low back pain, a low-value service that has received extensive attention. The true amount of waste is even higher because estimates did not include Medicaid spending. Moreover, by reducing barriers to a drug that some individuals use as a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination or other evidence-based care, insurance coverage could increase spending for COVID-19 complications.

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