A hospital bill from 1941

Michael S. Rozeff:

Now, here’s what this hospital bill says on it. I will surrender some privacy, but it’s worth it. It’s written to my father For Wife. After the name of the hospital, the city, and the hospital administrator’s name come the financial details. These I vouch for because otherwise you will not believe me:

To Room and Service from 6/5/41 to 6/16/41
1 week 4 days at $31.50 a week
Delivery Room
Laboratory Work
Formula for Baby from 6/5 on
Use of Delivery Room for Circumcision

All right, the cost of living has changed. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) was 14.7 in June, 1941, and it is 203.9 today. That’s up by a factor of 13.87 (=203.9/14.7) So we can adjust the $73.75 cost by multiplying it by 13.87. That gives $1,023.

So, why is it that the women of this age must pay 15 times the inflation adjusted amount at least? Why does Big Medicine cost so must? Could it be that government intervention makes things extra expensive and inefficient?


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