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In October 2004 I was scheduled for a eight-hour surgery at a hospital in San Francisco; check-in time 6am for surgery to start 7:30 am. I live in the East Bay, about 15 miles from the city, via the Bay Bridge.

The bridge can be a traffic nightmare during rush hour, which starts pretty early around here. If there is an "incident" on the bridge, traffic can be delayed for an hour or more.

Therefore, instead of risking a snarl and missing my surgery (three doctors involved) I drove to the city the night before and stayed in a hotel close to the hospital. This really helped me with the tension over traffic and anxiety in general re the surgery. Question: is the hotel cost a deductible medical expense. (I will otherwise qualify for medical deductions for 2004).

Yes, up to $50/person per night. See IRS Pub. 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.

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