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Letters to the Editor

Thu., Sept. 5, 2013, midnight

ER cost justified

Jamie Tobias Neely’s Sept. 1 op-ed favors a single-payer health system. She supports her position by remembering one recent evening when she panicked and took her husband to a local emergency room where his “emergency” was identified and treated as pink eye. Her bill, she complains, amounted to $662.24 for a few eye drops applied by an emergency room doctor.

The evening Neely and her husband entered the ER they were met by a team of medical providers capable of handling any emergency imaginable. Such talent is either on-site in the ER or on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Was $662.24 an excessive price to pay for a couple drops of something to treat pink eye when the drops probably could have been bought at Rite-Aid for considerably less? I don’t think so when I conclude the ER bill includes an amount for the overhead to cover costs associated with the best medical team and facilities in the world, available and ready to treat real emergencies, not pink eye.

Gordon Spunich

Spokane Valley

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