I read 1,182 emergency room bills this year. Here’s what I learned. By Sarah Kliff

There is no way a completely privatized health care system wouldn’t do a much better job of providing medical care, at far lower cost, then our currently bastardized system. From Sarah Kliff at vox.com:

A $5,571 bill to sit in a waiting room, $238 eyedrops, and a $60 ibuprofen tell the story of how emergency room visits are squeezing patients.

For the past 15 months, I’ve asked Vox readers to submit emergency room bills to our database. I’ve read lots of those medical bills — 1,182 of them, to be exact.

My initial goal was to get a sense of how unpredictable and costly ER billing is across the country. There are millions of emergency room visits every year, making it one of the more frequent ways we interact with our health care system — and a good window into the health costs squeezing consumers today.

I started my project focused on one specific charge: the facility fee. I found this charge for walking through an emergency room’s doors could be as low as $533 or well over $3,000, depending on which hospital a patient visited and how severe her case was. I also learned that the price of this charge had skyrocketed in recent years, increasing much faster than other medical prices for no clear reason.

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