Cover art for podcast An Arm and a Leg

An Arm and a Leg

24 EpisodesProduced by An Arm and a LegWebsite

A show about the cost of health care that’s more entertaining, empowering, and occasionally useful than enraging, and terrifying and depressing. Reporter Dan Weissmann digs in to show how we got into this crazy mess and how we just might live through it.

24 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

Health Care: The Musical

November 27th, 2019

22:17

It would sound a LOT like Explanation of Benefits, which is a musical revue that actually played in New York City in 2019.


... so it would feature a …

My Neighbor the Health-Care Ninja

November 21st, 2019

29:52

Meredith Balogh has spent years learning to navigate the financial side of the health-care system. She’s a type-one diabetic, she’s never had a lot of money, and for years she didn’t have health insurance.


It hasn’t been …

Mom vs. Texas

November 14th, 2019

28:53

Stephanie Wittels Wachs has a daughter born hearing impaired, which is how she found out insurance didn't cover hearing aids for kids. Those start at $6,000 and only last a few years. Stephanie teamed up with a few …

Hey there! Season 3 is coming November 14. Here’s a preview.

October 31st, 2019

2:23

It’s going to be REALLY fun. Also, maybe useful. Catch you here soon!

Also, here’s a little video preview.


Bonus news: Did you know we're nominated for …

A place where they do health care more cheaply and effectively. (And yes, it’s in the U.S.)

July 31st, 2019

22:57

For our Season 2 finale, time for some inspiration.

For 30 years, James Gingerich has run a super-effective clinic in Indiana, delivering great …

An actor walks into a doctor’s office…

July 24th, 2019

17:56


Dr. Saul Weiner is a physician and researcher at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago. (Photo: Roberta …

Whoa, this medical device is spying on me. In my sleep. So my insurer can deny me coverage.

July 17th, 2019

16:58


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 …

The insane, surprising history behind insulin’s crazy price (and some hopeful signs in the wild)

July 10th, 2019

26:36

The price of insulin is iconic — doubling, tripling, multiplying like crazy, for medicine Type 1 diabetics can’t live without.

To understand it, we …

Coming next week: The price of insulin

July 3rd, 2019

1:53

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 …

Why are drug prices so random? Meet Mr. PBM

June 26th, 2019

18:29

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 …

How much for an MRI? Well, that depends…

June 19th, 2019

22:00

This week, we look at three MRIs with four different price tags, and an enormous range. 



Liz Salmi and a view of her brain. (Photo: Kaiser Health News)

The first two price tags come from listener Liz Salmi, who has been …

To get paid, hospitals get creative

June 12th, 2019

15:30

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 …

We thought we had adulted properly

June 4th, 2019

23:30

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 …

We’re back! Here’s a taste of Season 2, launching June 4.

May 23rd, 2019

2:06

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.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Is it ever appropriate to fudge a little? (Season One, episode 8)

December 19th, 2018

22:03



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 …

Why are ER bills so crazy? With Sarah Kliff of Vox.com. (Season One, episode 7)

December 12th, 2018

19:26




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 …

Why Health Insurance Actually Sucks (Season One, episode 6)

December 5th, 2018

16:32


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.

So, Robin Hood’s got an approach to medical bills. (Season One, episode 5)

November 27th, 2018

15:37


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 …

Why you (and I) will likely pick the wrong health-insurance plan (Season One, episode 4)

November 21st, 2018

18:41


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 …

How one drug got its $500,000 price tag. (With 99 Percent Invisible– Season One, episode 3)

November 14th, 2018

24:31


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 …

All the Marbles: One woman’s epic quest for health insurance (Season One, episode 2)

November 14th, 2018

19:06


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 …

This is Water, and it sucks. Let’s talk. (Season One, episode 1)

November 14th, 2018

19:58


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 …

A podcast about the cost of health care, coming November 2018

October 11th, 2018

3:57

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 …

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