What-me-worry?

The dust-up over recent medical device recalls continues, in the St Paul Pioneer Press:

In an effort to get medical-device manufacturers to pay "for their
mistakes," a a lawmaker introduced a bill at the Capitol on Monday that
would require the companies to cover medical costs when their devices
are replaced because of a recall.

While med-tech companies provide a free replacement device, it is
the patient's insurance that typically pays for the surgery and related
costs.

I seem to recall Guidant springing for a few thousand per patient to cover surgical costs related to their recent recall - certainly not enough, but something. I'm also surprised that some enterprising trail attorney hasn't filed a class action lawsuit against Guidant or Medtronic over unreimbursed costs entailed in their recalls (not to mention pain and suffering).

The industry and its regulators have come under fire for what some
see as an inadequate system for detecting potential defects in devices
and reporting those defects to doctors and patients.

Medtronic spokesman Rob Clark said in a statement that state and
local initiatives such as the one proposed by [state Rep. Tony] Cornish [R-Good Thunder] were
"unnecessary."

"We believe that any changes or new solutions should be developed at
the federal level by private and public payers and industry," Clark
said.

It sounds like the medical device vendors think they can get a better deal from the feds than populist state legislators.

Cornish acknowledged that he would prefer a federal solution. He
points to a proposal to strengthen FDA oversight of the medical device
and drug industries by Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and
industry reform recommendations expected from a panel of experts at the
Heart Rhythm Society, the organization that represents doctors who
implant heart devices.

Good Thunder, MN must not have any Medtronic, Guidant or Boston Scientific facilities. I guess all Tony Cornish really wanted was some press, which he got.