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Two of the world's smallest pacemakers next to the original one, 2016. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The prices of hospital procedures, doctor visits and prescriptions are a lot higher in the U.S. than other high-income countries, and a new Health Affairs study shows that holds true for medical devices, too.

By the numbers: Roughly 6% of U.S. health care spending goes toward medical devices, or about $200 billion annually.

  • Two researchers studied what hospitals in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy and Germany paid for various heart implants, which make up a big portion of the medical device market.
  • Depending on the type of stent or pacemaker, U.S. hospitals paid anywhere from two to six times more than the country that paid the lowest prices (often Germany).

Between the lines: Prices likely differed based on a country’s tech-based regulation, but also on how much market power medical device companies had.

“Variation within countries suggests that manufacturers exploit varying levels of willingness-to-pay and bargaining power between buyers to charge different prices across hospitals and increase profits.”
— The researchers wrote.

Go deeper

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.