By reversing an epidemic of preventable deaths throughout our nation's hospitals, Washington could wipe $33 billion in annual spending from the debt almost overnight ? and this is probably a low estimate. Healthcare acquired infections kill more people annually than car crashes. Hospitals need help. One in every 20 hospitalized patients has an HAI, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, which calls this a preventable healthcare expenditure that runs up a tab in the tens of billions of dollars. Cash strapped hospitals are also hit with a cost; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that it took $15 million just to treat 188 patients in one hospital.