Good Luck With Your Emergency Room Bill

Sarah Kliff has been engaged for the past year on a massive project to understand ER charges. This is admirable work, truly, but I suspect the eventual answer is going to be that ER charges are basically a witch’s brew of (a) randomness, (b) mistakes, (c) whatever they can get away with, and (d) some long-lost connection to a Medicare charge sheet with everything multiplied by eπ/2. For example, here’s something that Kliff posted today:

A rendering of a CT-scan will set you back $616. But if you add in postprocessing, the price goes down to $550. That’s pretty odd, isn’t it? Unless, of course, that postprocessing is designed to fuzz things up and you have to pay an extra $66 to get the nice, sharp, original image. Would any hospital cost accountants care to weigh in on this?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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