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This Arizonan spent a year fighting a huge hospital bill. Why he's doubtful this year's election will change the system

Candidates in Arizona regularly talk about health care. But do the people affected by the system believe changes are actually coming?

PHOENIX — Just more than two years ago, Bruce Nester entered the emergency department at Banner Desert Medical Center. Little did he know it would lead to a nearly year-long medical bill dispute.

Earlier in the day, Nester said he had undergone a medical procedure, and after arriving home, he had a sore throat and fever. The doctor told him to go to the ER where a doctor performed blood work and a chest x-ray.

According to the patient, while waiting in a hospital room, a staff member appeared and began wheeling Bruce out of the room for what she said was surgery. There appeared to be a mix-up.

Over the next hour, Nester said he felt it was riskier to stay in the hospital than go home. He left the hospital, never staying the night.

Months later, Nester said the bill he received from Banner Desert Medical Center was more than $12,000. It included $4,500 for “intensive care room and board.” The care he never received.

A year-long back and forth ended shortly after 12News got involved, but it revealed issues with the medical system for Nester.

“It hasn’t been the best,” he said.

This election cycle, candidates are once again campaigning on numerous issues. There's also a proposition on the Arizona ballot that promises to reduce maximum interest rates on medical debt. 

"You keep hearing about this candidate is going to reduce healthcare costs, or is this candidate going to have a better healthcare system?" Nester said, “I think they will say or do whatever to get elected.”

Bruce Nester has seen the ads and the speeches, but he wants candidates to go deeper to address the system.

“You don’t really hear anybody talking about how to simplify it. That's my major concern, it’s like look, if I'm having these issues, others are, they have to be." Nester said.

“And I don’t think changes are going to transpire. We are going to continue with what we have, unfortunately.” Nester added.

RELATED: Report: Arizona hospitals experiencing more financial challenges

RELATED: Arizona woman questioning medical flight costs after $50K bill sent to her insurance

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