This week, we bring you a deeper look inside the health insurance industry. The dark side of prescription drug coupons. A story about Pet Health Insurance, which is in its infancy, and how it is changing human behaviors—for example, if you have the pet health insurance, you bring your pet to the vet more often, and the vet makes more money and...well, you can see the parallels.
Host Ira Glass talks to Rob Lamberts, a doctor and blogger in Georgia, who describes the crazy world of medical billing, where armies of coders use several contradictory different systems of codes...and none of it makes us healthier. (3 minutes)
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig reports on a very surprising reason why insurance companies dump members, and how this reasoning contradicts President Obama's argument for what will lower health care costs. (12 minutes)
Joshuah Bearman tells the story of Pete's ridealong with the PI Moms, and how strange things started to happen. As he dug deeper into their operations, he learned about cases like the Candyman, where everything gets oddly and unnecessarily complicated.
Sure you can try to get your pop songs onto records, or on the radio, or onto MTV. But what happens if your medium of choice is ... the telephone? Before they had record contracts, the band They Might Be Giants distributed their songs through the medium of Answering Machine.