With the price of health care rising — medical costs represented about one out of every six dollars we spent in 2016 — Americans find themselves repeatedly confronted with the question: Your money or your life? Well, what if we narrowed the question a bit: Your money or the last month of your life? It turns out that for folks who haven’t suffered from accidents, violent crime or chronic illnesses, the vast majority of health care costs are concentrated into a very short timeframe. “The old Marx Brothers’ joke — ‘I wouldn’t dare go to the hospital — people die there all the time’ — is essentially true. Many people die in the hospital — in many cases, just after they’ve incurred a hugely expensive round of surgery, treatment, and medication. About one-third of Americans undergo operations in the last month of life.” From T.R. Reid in The Atlantic: How We Spend $3,400,000,000,000.

+ CNN: Eating fried potatoes linked to higher risk of death, study says. (I’m not sure I really need to spell this out for you, but America’s health care problems could be solved if everyone agreed to spend their last few months eating nothing but hash browns…)