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Alex Proimos / Flickr Creative Commons

The latest story about wild, eye-popping hospital bills comes from Vox: Matt Anderson, a college student, cut his finger last summer and went to the emergency room out of fear of infection. He said he was only with a doctor or nurse for a total of 15 minutes maximum, for a cleaning and liquid stitches for his wound.

Although a quick, simple fix, Anderson's parents got stuck with a bill for almost $3K.

Why so much? Because of expensive "facility fees," which are supposed to cover the cost of keeping an emergency room open and operational 24/7 and an extra $873 for being at the hospital for "two days." (He was there from 11p.m. one day until 1 a.m. the next.)

Why it matters: There have been plenty of other stories of crazy pricing. The problem is that Obamacare didn't tackle pricing at all, or even require more transparency about how it works. But if Trump wants to offer more medical options at cheaper prices to the American people, experts argue he'll have to cut the expensive hospital fees and enforce price transparency.

Go deeper

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

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