CNN's Drew Griffin and Time magazine investigate what's behind the high cost of medical bills in America. They find a family who was charged hundreds of thousands of dollars for items used during treatment at a hospital, like the paper cup that holds a patient's pills.
Last March Bob Weinkauf found himself in the ICU struggling to breath. After four days of treatment, the hospital was telling his wife Becky that insurance would not even come close to covering the costs of his care. She says she remembers shaking after the conversation, unsure of what to do.
Weinkauf's bills, totaling about $474,000, were listed in broad categories with few details about the specific charges. He decided to find out what exactly made his hospital stay so costly. The answer was in the price tag of every little or big item he touched or was given – tissues, a urine bottle, a cup he spit in, and most other services and supplies he needed.
Pat Palmer has made a career battling hospitals over outrageous invoices like the one the Weinkaufs are facing. She's helping them fight the charges that could ultimately take them the rest of their lives to pay.
Read more on The extraordinary cost of getting sick in America
Watch Part II of the report:
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with