Hospitals routinely expect patients to pay different prices for the same services and often ask the most vulnerable patients to pay ten to twenty-five times as much as the hospital routinely accepts as payment in full. For a service that the government allows participating hospitals to charge its patients $117 in 2019 dollars, some hospitals may charge patients up to $3254 for the same service, and most hospitals charge almost $500 for that same $117 service. Excess hospital charges or “markups” pose a significant financial burden (including frequent bankruptcies) on uninsured and out-of-network patients and cause some people to avoid necessary emergency or urgent care leading to unnecessary deaths and disabilities. Vulnerable patients in times of crisis enter a hospital believing they are in a safe haven—similar to Little Red Riding Hood entering her Grandmother’s house; however, waiting inside the hospital is a billing machine ready to pounce with a life-crushing, overcharged medical bill that would make the Big Bad Wolf blush. Predatory hospital bills exploit people in their most vulnerable state (during a medical crisis) and ruin lives, hopes and dreams by creating financial disaster—sometimes even from relatively minor physical injuries.