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Act Four: Now What?

Host Ira Glass talks with Susan Dentzer, editor of the journal Health Affairs, about what current health reform proposals do to fix the rising costs of healthcare...And points at a surprising, kind of heartening phenomenon happening within the current debate.

Act One: Shots In The Dark

Measles cases are higher in the U.S. than they've been in a decade, mostly because more and more nervous parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. Contributing Editor Susan Burton tells the story of what happened recently in San Diego, when an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy returned home from a trip to Switzerland, bringing with him the measles.


Host Ira Glass talks about his fear of sleep, and reports on other people who have very strong reasons of their own to fear bedtime. We also hear the sounds of troubled sleepers from a DVD put together by Doctors Carlos Schenck and Mark Mahowald of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center.

Act Three: The Bitter Fruits Of Wakefulness

Joel Lovell explains why, as an 11-year-old, he trained himself not to fall asleep, and how that had some unintended consequences. Note that the Internet version of this story has slightly different language than the version broadcast on the radio.

Act One: Stranger in the Night

Mike Birbiglia talks about the sleepwalking that nearly killed him. It's an excerpt of his one-man show "Sleepwalk with Me," which is now also a feature film, produced and co-written by Ira Glass.

Act Three: Educated Guess

When Amy Silverman's daughter was born with Down syndrome, she followed the advice of all the parents she met: She signed her daughter up for "early intervention" therapy. But her daughter's progress had unexpected consequences, forcing Amy to make a choice she'd never predicted.

Act Three: Lucy And The Bike Girl

Lucy, a 28-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, meets the "Bike Girl," who has the same disease, in an Internet chatroom. They are both, against the advice of friends and doctors, trying to get pregnant, and they find that they have a lot in common.

Act Three

Brady Udall tells the story of the time he helped a stranger get his car out of a ditch. In exchange, the man promises to help him any time, for any reason—legal or not.

Act One: The Hills Have Eyes

Some of the scariest stories happen when fluffy, innocent creatures turn murderously evil. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg tells one such story, about a raccoon gone bad.