Your free Podsite trial has expired, but you still have time to upgrade!

Claim your custom domain name todayClaim your domain

Can They Freaking Do That?!? (2023 Edition)

22 minutes

We’re kicking off the year with a throwback. We revisit a 2019 episode that opened up new possibilities for fighting back against outrageous medical bills — a theme we’ll spend a lot more time exploring this year

A listener named Miriam got a bill from a medical testing lab she’s never heard of, for $35. Then, a follow-up bill said if she didn’t pay up right away, that price was going up — WAY up: to $1,287. 

Which raises the kind of  question that comes up a LOT with medical billing: Can some random lab hit you up for money — and then threaten you with a late fee of more than $1,000??

We went to find out.

The answer: They can try. And a lot of the time, they’ll get away with it. But we found experts who explain how, sometimes, we can fight back— by threatening to take them to court.

If you’ve got the time and the moxie, these experts say you’re on solid legal ground, and you really can make the other side accept a fair offer.

We’ll come back to this idea next time. Meanwhile, here’s a 2020 episode with the story of a guy who took his local hospital to court, and won.

The original version of this story, from 2019, found us learning about a couple topics we went on to explored in more depth later:  Surprise bills — which we got new legal protections from in 2022— and the role of private equity in health care, both how it’s been expanding, and how some doctors are trying to fight back.  

Here's a transcript of this episode.

Send your stories and questions: or call 724 ARM-N-LEG

And of course we’d love for you to support this show.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

More episodes from An Arm and a Leg

To get health insurance, this couple made a movie

Last fall, actor-writers Ellen Haun and Dru Johnston were hustling to get their health insurance sorted out for 2023. To qualify for insurance through the actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA, Ellen …

“Your Money or Your Life”: Dr. Luke Messac’s book on the history of medical debt

In 2019, Dr. Luke Messac was a medical resident who found himself spending his day off in a courthouse archive. He’d heard about hospitals suing their own patients over unpaid medical …

Paging Dr. Glaucomflecken: Presenting “The Nocturnists - Conversations: Will & Kristin Flanary (The Glaucomfleckens)”

First: an update on our recent two-parter with the writer John Green, about the global, decades-long fight to make an important tuberculosis drug …

John Green vs. Johnson & Johnson (part 2)

This is part two of our globe-spanning story about drugs, patents, and YouTube megastar John Green. 

Quick recap: In our last episode, we learned how writer and YouTube star John Green …

John Green vs. Johnson & Johnson (part 1)

This episode  is special. When we heard that widely-beloved writer John Green was rallying his online community  around a fight over drug prices — and apparently making a difference — we …

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.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Mom vs. Texas
Start listening to Mom vs. Texas