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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.

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