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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

An Arm and a Leg: America's healthcare is a mess, and Dan Weissman isn't taking it lying down

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts): ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Any episode, though the first season is good for context


Investigative reporting with some call-in segments from experts and listeners


Reporter Dan Weissmann

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:

Adult--there won't be much appeal for teens here

Approximate length of episodes:

30 minutes

Curricular ties:


Similar recommended pods:


Podcast Librarian’s Review:⠀⠀⠀⠀

Yes, it’s a podcast about the US healthcare system, but stay with me—it’s not boring. Confusing and infuriating at times? Yes, because that’s the state of healthcare in this country. Host Dan Weissmann isn’t just reporting about the topic—he’s living it, having to make vital healthcare decisions for his family as a result of leaving his former job in order to be a freelancer. He covers a wide variety of subjects, from the basically random pricing of MRIs (my favorite episode) and prescription medicines, to heartbreaking stories of people facing incredible adversity from their insurance company just to deal with their already-awful medical diseases/conditions. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The podcast is entertaining and darkly funny (because what doesn’t make you cry will surely make you laugh), and it contains some ideas for how to fix this decrepit, dilapidated system. With good production quality, episodes around 15-25 minutes, and an almost--but not quite--narrative structure, this is an easy series to binge (currently two seasons long, with a 3rd in the works) or just listen to at your leisure over time. After all, if we can’t beat the healthcare system, why not settle for commiseration? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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