New York paying 15 times the normal rate for medical supplies

New York state is paying as much as 15 times the normal price for medical supplies as shortages force states to go outside their normal vendors and aren't protected by price-gouging laws, ProPublica reported. 

According to payment data given to ProPublica by state officials, New York has paid 20 cents for gloves that normally cost less than a nickel and $7.50 each for masks, which is about 15 times higher than the usual price. 

It's also paid up to $2,975 for infusion pumps, more than twice the normal cost, and $248,841 for a portable X-ray machine that typically costs between $30,000 and $80,000. 

Price-gouging laws typically only apply to the sale of consumer goods and services and not purchases by states or private and nonprofit businesses, according to ProPublica. This has raised concerns that smaller, rural hospitals and health clinics with less money won't be able to obtain critical medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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