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An Arm and a Leg

An Arm and a Leg

No surprise, the cost of health care is… unhealthy. Reporter Dan Weissmann digs up revealing, surprising stories-- and some straight-up hacks-- that can help us get a little less scared and confused about the mess we’re in. We may be screwed, but we’...Show More
3. How one drug got its $500,000 price tag. (With 99 Percent Invisible)

24:31 | Nov 14th, 2018

The answer involves a suburban housewife, a 1970s TV star, and a Las Vegas maker of popcorn and nacho cheese sauce. Also: Wall Street. Produced with our friends at 99 Percent Invisible. Many thanks to Abbey Meyers, Joshua Schein, and Nora Guthrie. Fi...Show More
Is it ever appropriate to fudge a little? (Episode 8)

21:56 | Dec 19th, 2018

Bari Tessler is a little famous as a “financial therapist,” but even she gets rattled by the price of health care. Also: What my family is doing for health insurance next year. This is our Season One finale. Maybe you’d like to subscribe to our newsl...Show More
Why are ER bills so crazy? (with Sarah Kliff of Vox.com) Episode 7

20:06 | Dec 12th, 2018

Emergency rooms often bill you a “cover charge” just for walking in the door, and it can be thousands of dollars. That’s in addition to the huge markup on everything that happens there: seven bucks for a band-aid. Twenty dollars for a couple of pills...Show More
Why Health Insurance Actually Sucks

16:20 | Dec 5th, 2018

Turns out, insurance companies allow — even encourage — crazy price-gouging by hospitals. For example, the leg brace Blake needed was available for $150 on Amazon. But thanks to his insurance, he paid more than $500. Investigative reporter Jenny Gold...Show More
Is the future of health care at the Renaissance fair?

15:27 | Nov 27th, 2018

The health-care system — especially the financial side — can feel like a Medieval torture device. So maybe it fits that workers from Renaissance fairs have come up with a work-around. In this episode I meet Robin Hood and a woman who has made more th...Show More
4. Why you (and I) will likely pick the wrong health-insurance plan

18:36 | Nov 21st, 2018

Because as smart economists recently proved) it is super-confusing, and most of us can’t do the math. But! We found glimmers of hope. So don’t be scared. We’d like to hear how you’re choosing your health insurance for 2019 — or are you going to do wi...Show More
2. All the Marbles: One woman’s epic quest for health insurance

19:07 | Nov 14th, 2018

Laura Derrick takes a drug that costs more than $500,000 a year. So when her family was going to lose their insurance, she made crazy sacrifices… and changed the course of history. Find Us Online Website: http://armandalegshow.com Twitter: http://twi...Show More
1. This is Water, and it sucks. Let’s talk.

19:50 | Nov 14th, 2018

When I first started talking about doing a show about the cost of health care… everybody had a story. Including me. It’s like that famous speech by the writer David Foster Wallace called This is Water. It starts with a joke about two young fish swimm...Show More
A podcast about the cost of health care, coming November 2018

03:58 | Oct 11th, 2018

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. He...Show More
An actor walks into a doctor’s office…

18:53 | Jul 24th

Researcher Saul Weiner has been sending fake patients — actors, wired for sound — into real doctors’ offices, to learn about what actually happens, especially: How well doctors really listen to their patients. He’s tallied up what doctors miss (a lot...Show More
Whoa, this medical device is spying on me. In my sleep. So my insurer can deny me coverage.

16:58 | Jul 17th

That’s the rude awakening Eric Umansky got when he called the company that provided his CPAP machine — a device that helps him breathe at night. He got mad. And he got even, in a way: Eric is an editor at the non-profit newsroom ProPublica, and he ti...Show More
The insane, surprising history behind insulin’s crazy price (and some hopeful signs in the wild)

26:36 | Jul 10th

The price of insulin is iconic — doubling, tripling, multiplying like crazy, for medicine Type 1 diabetics can’t live without. To understand it, we went back almost 100 years and dug up a story of sweaty Canadian researchers — swatting away flies and...Show More
Coming next week: The price of insulin

01:53 | Jul 3rd

As we started working on season two of this podcast, there was one topic that seemed like we just had to look at: insulin. … and I wondered:  There are stories about insulin prices everywhere.  Would we really have something to add? Something that wa...Show More
Why are drug prices so random? Meet Mr. PBM

18:29 | Jun 26th

I filled a prescription recently, and the drugstore said they wanted more than 700 bucks… for an old-line generic drug. My insurance ended up knocking that down, but it was WEIRD.  And it meant a big homework assignment for me. Luckily, I got help. B...Show More
How much for an MRI? Well, that depends…

22:01 | Jun 19th

This week, we look at three MRIs with four different price tags, and an enormous range.   The first two price tags come from listener Liz Salmi, who has been living with brain cancer for more than a decade. Liz gets MRI scans twice a year, to make su...Show More
To get paid, hospitals get creative

15:31 | Jun 12th

Hospital bills are too high, and insurance doesn’t cover enough. Turns out, that’s a crisis for hospitals too: more and more of us aren’t paying those bills, because we can’t. So, they’re getting creative about collecting — and offering discounts. Wh...Show More
We thought we had adulted properly

23:30 | Jun 4th

Caitlin and Corey Gaffer got a surprise letter from their insurance company — saying they were being dumped for non-payment. Except, as far as they knew, they were paid up. As it turned out, they’d made a couple of small mistakes, which they were eag...Show More
We’re back! Here’s a taste of Season 2, launching June 4.

02:07 | May 23rd

Hey there! We’ve been working hard on season 2. We hope you enjoy this preview — there’s so much good (and frightening) stuff ahead.