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An Arm and a Leg on Smash Notes

An Arm and a Leg podcast.

December 31, 2019

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’re together. Let's talk



Episodes with Smash Notes

... 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 for our newsletter, where we'll have details...

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 need help the most? In Philadelphia, the good, the bad, and the ugly have all been on viv...

Updating a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so horribly expensive—the scientists who discovered it did NOT want price or profits to keep it away from people who need it—and what some people are doing about it.

A viral TikTok video offers a legally-sound recipe for "crushing" medical bills. Government filings show it could wipe out billions in debts every year—with enough elbow grease. Jared Walker and his group Dollar For say they've done a fe...

Jeff is a lawyer who used to represent medical-bill collectors in court. But he switched sides, and he's here to tell us what he knows. Like: We have more rights than we probably know. It can be tough to get them enforced, but he's got tips ...

2021 is off to a rough start, but we've got a couple small things that don't completely suck. First, a new federal rule could help cut through one completely-ridiculous issue. Then, a listener describes how he headed off an insurance nightmare.

Former health-care executive Wendell Potter spent part of 2020 publishing high-profile apologies for the lies he says he told the American people in his old job—and trying to debunk the myths he once sold. His story is a modern Christmas Carol.

This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he's learned this year, and what's ahead for the show— with T.K. Dutes, an ace radio host and podcast-maker ... who was a nurse in a previous life, so she knows a t...

Keeping the plan we've got means paying $200 a month more. But... would a "cheaper" plan cost us more in the long run? It depends! And COVID makes it a lot more complicated. This stinks.

You can hear my wife and me try to puzzle the who...

Andy Slavitt, who ran a big chunk of health care for the Obama administration, has spent 2020 talking with almost everybody who knows anything about the COVID pandemic— and sharing what he learns in real time.

They're supposed to be free. And usually they are. But sometimes... things happen. Here's how to keep them from happening to YOU. NYT reporter Sarah Kliff has asked readers to send in their COVID-testing bills. She's runs down the snags ...

Possibly our most-useful episode ever. A listener asked: How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?

We called a self-defense teacher—because self-defense is more than hitting and kicking. It's standing up for yourself, using your words.