The New York Times reports,

more than 1,000 other cardiologists and hospitals have installed CT scanners like the one Dr. Rosenblatt turned down. Many are promoting heart scans to patients with radio, Internet and newspaper ads. Time magazine and Oprah Winfrey have also extolled the scans, which were given to more than 150,000 people in this country last year at a cost exceeding $100 million. Their use is expected to soar through the next decade. But there is scant evidence that the scans benefit most patients.

The story could be straight out of my book.

The Times falsely says that “At a time when Americans are being forced to pay a growing share of their medical bills…”

If only. What the story misses, and what my book emphasizes, is that these expensive, discretionary medical procedures are spurred by insulating the consumer from the cost, thanks to what we call “insurance.”

Thanks to Peter Orszag for the pointer.