Vasectomies Are Up, Lasik Is Down
I asked my ophthalmologist on Friday how his business was doing in the recession, and he said it was stable. He noted, however, that his colleagues who specialize in Lasik surgery had seen a 60 percent drop in business.
Clearly, Lasik, which is not reimbursed by most insurance plans, is postponable in times when incomes drop; at least in the short run, it is a luxury good. Other medical procedures may even be inferior goods in the short run. A recent report on NBC noted that there has been a recent rise in vasectomies. Apparently some couples, fearing that their incomes may be permanently lower, wish to minimize the chances of having another child for whom it will be difficult to provide.
We know that plastic surgery is another luxury good. I wonder how one would classify still more medical procedures.