There is a lot of monopoly power in healthcare in the US, and it has been driving up prices by decreasing competition. Research shows that greater consolidation in the hospital industry causes higher prices, but it is hard to explain data showing that emergency room fees have risen by 2/3 in only six years:
Rising prices means that fewer Americans are going to the ER:
Some of my students have said that they think the problem is that too many poor people are flooding emergency departments, but the available evidence shows that this isn’t happening.
One reason bills are so high is that consumers don’t have the resources to dispute the ridiculous bills. You can help increase information for consumers if you share your ER bill here.