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A podcast about the cost of health care, coming November 2018

4 minutes

The spiraling cost of medical care shapes people’s lives: The jobs we’re afraid to leave because of insurance, the risk that a trip to the doc could end in bankruptcy. It’s not healthy.

This is my story too, and that’s why I’m making this podcast. Here’s what I’ve got in mind.

An Arm and a Leg will be entertaining, empowering— even useful. As a reporter, I’ll bring my skill at finding and telling revealing, surprising stories. But the project’s big focus— since I’m in this mess too—is connecting and problem-solving, together.


You are not alone. We may be screwed, but we’re together. And if we want to get even a little bit less-screwed, we need each other. If nothing else, we can be good company to each other.

  • We can have a good, dark laugh.
  • We can offer each other empathy.
  • We can sing hilarious punk-rock campfire-songs of rage at whoever turns out to be responsible.

So I’ll be looking to you, over time, to offer up your own stories— by sending in voice memo recordings (and email, and FB posts). Also, punk-rock campfire songs.

To start, I’ll be reporting out on stuff I’ve found out on my own— stories that help us get a little less scared and confused about the mess we’re in. Early episodes will:

  • Pull back the curtain and show how the dark machinery works. A simple leg brace shows how insurance companies allow— even encourage— crazy price gouging.
  • Check out inventive hacks: Renaissance-fair workers have cooked up a creative, home-brew safety net.
  • Tell some wild stories. Like one woman’s epic quest for health insurance. To keep her family out of medical bankruptcy, she made crazy sacrifices— and tweaked history.

Over time, you’ll tell me what needs finding out.

We can’t count on single-payer or some other big fix getting enacted and coming to save our butts anytime soon. (We don’t even have to agree on single-payer.

No matter what our politics, we’re all screwed right now.) But we need each other’s help and company RIGHT NOW, just muddling through the mess we’re in.

You know what? I think it’s going to be fun.

Meanwhile:

Thanks! Talk with you soon.

Till then… take care of yourself.

 

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More episodes from An Arm and a Leg

Want to write a killer letter to insurance? Meet Jeannine.

Health care insiders get stupid medical bills too. One of them taught us how to write an insurance appeal—like the one that saved her son $14,000. You can read that letter—and her notes to …

Mini-episode: One guy skirts a medical-bill trap, and shares the secret.

When Adam Woodrum's insurance denied a claim for an ER bill, he sent his story to NPR... because he happened to KNOW how to deal with it. And he …

Why picking the right insurance is so hard (bonus/encore)

How hard is it to pick the best health insurance? ECONOMISTS find it hard. Including one who has studied the question, "How hard can it be to pick a decent insurance plan?"

Lots of people …

Programming note: We're working on some cool new stuff.

... and it's gonna take us a little while to get it ready for you— maybe a couple months. Meanwhile, we'll have little updates for you here and there.

... and it's a great time to sign up …

Who's been trying to cash in on COVID vaccinations? (And how did racism help them out?)

With COVID vaccinations ramping up, it's time to check in: Who's been trying to make a buck? And who's been doing their best to serve the folks who …

Revisiting insulin, as relevant (and expensive) as ever

We're re-releasing and updating a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so horribly expensive—the scientists who discovered it …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

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