The Mysteries of the Cost of Healthcare ft. Dan Weissmann


An Arm and a Leg

shocked photoDan Weissmann is a former NPR journalist who was interested in the crazy world of healthcare costs in America.  He’d suggested to his former bosses that he start covering people’s stories of dealing with their medical care and it’s often unpredictably wallet-sucking expenses, reasoning that the subject is one we all can relate to.  Plus, he though, it’s a damn important topic with political, economic, and personal implications.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the story he’d been employed to tell, so he back-burnered the idea.

Until one day he decided to leave radio and strike out on his own.  As Dan put it to co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, and Dr. John Pienta, suddenly that story was very personal.  After all, he didn’t have health insurance through an employer anymore, and he found it difficult to even make a decision on what insurance to buy since that industry (and its collaborators in healthcare) makes choosing intentionally difficult by not supplying information we usually rely on to make purchasing choices.  So he started his new job, one he created for himself, a podcast he named An Arm and a Leg.  Now in its second season, the show explores the topsy-turvy world of paying for health, using the stories of real people.  Those people are incredibly easy to find, too, because they are our friends, neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, men, women, children…all of us are victims.  If we want to fix it, Dan’s here to say that our best hope is listen to and understand these stories, because we’re all in this mess together.

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This Week in Medical News

This week, president Donald Trump signed an executive order that would require insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors to give patients more info about the prices they’ll pay for healthcare…but some say he have consulted with Danish cement manufacturers?  And Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders uses a puzzling figure to support his signature campaign issue of “Medicare-for-all”…a figure that Politifact and Kaiser Health News isn’t so positive about.

We Want to Hear From You

What stories have you heard about the damage caused by spiraling and opaque healthcare costs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email  Do all three!

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.