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. (The segment I’m most excited about: Car Talk for Health Care.)
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.
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Dan Weissmann’s work appears in outlets like Marketplace, Planet Money, 99 Percent Invisible, and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. This is his first podcast.