US Health Care System

A curated episode list by kataclysm
Creation Date August 30th, 2019
Updated Date Updated December 2nd, 2019
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Episodes about the unusual health care system in place in the United States
Why So Many Hospitals Are Suing Their Patients
For decades, hospitals could assume that patients with jobs and health insurance would pay their medical bills. That’s no longer the case. We speak to one woman about her skyrocketing medical costs — and the aggressive new way hospitals are forcing patients to pay up. Guest: Sarah Kliff, an investigative reporter covering health care for The New York Times, speaks with Amanda Sturgill, 41, whose health care provider took her to court in Virginia. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Background reading:One in four Americans have skipped medical treatment because of the cost, and nearly half fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency. Meet some of the employed and insured Americans who cannot afford health care.The American health care system is not the norm for developed countries. Here’s a look at how socialized and privatized systems compare internationally.Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care? The 1619 Project found that the answer is linked to segregation. 
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kataclysm

This episode focuses on one woman who was skipping meals and selling off her possessions to try to keep up with medical bills from her daughter's surgery. Her hospital is suing her for "refusing" to pay her bills. Her story is astoundingly common in towns across America.
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Rx For Medical Debt
One in 5 Americans struggles with medical bills. Here are things you do to get medical bills reduced — or even forgiven.
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kataclysm

This episode gives tips to Americans who have been stuck with high hospital bills. While a for-profit insurance company receives deep discounts from the hospital for medical procedures, a patient without insurance can receive a bill four times higher. An expert weighs in: "The people who can least afford to pay are the ones who tend to get the highest bills."
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This Drug Could End H.I.V. Why Hasn’t It?
Dr. Robert Grant developed a treatment — a daily pill known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP — that could stop the AIDS crisis. We look at why that hasn’t happened. Guests: Dr. Grant, who has been working on H.I.V. treatment and prevention for over 30 years, and Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science and health reporter for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Background reading: Gilead Sciences, the maker of Truvada, the only drug approved to prevent H.I.V. infection, will donate enough of the drug to supply 200,000 patients, but critics questioned the company’s motives.The high cost of drugs remains a major obstacle to ending the AIDS epidemic.Here’s more information about PrEP from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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kataclysm

A drug with a very high success rate at preventing the transmission of HIV has been invented... but most Americans with HIV aren't able to use it, because drug companies have been allowed to patent and profit from it.
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Why Emergency Room Visits Cost So Much
How could an ER visit in which a patient receives nothing more than a Band-Aid cost $629? Sarah Kliff, a health policy reporter for 'Vox,' spent over a year reading ER bills and investigating the reasons behind the high costs. Emergency rooms have a facility fee, which can range from the low hundreds to the high thousands, where the patient pays essentially for just walking through the door. Kliff will also talk about the GOP's latest attempts to cut back Obamacare, and what a Medicare-for-all plan would entail. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews two books about forgotten stories from Hollywood's past, 'The Lady from the Black Lagoon' and 'Giraffes on Horseback Salad.'
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kataclysm

This episode focuses on emergency rooms specifically, and talks about the inflated rates: hundreds of dollars for something as simple as a Band-Aid applied to a cut finger. Many patients are brought to the emergency room while unconscious and are unable to make decisions about where to receive treatment to stay within their insurance networks. Emergency rooms then bill these patients at exorbitant rates, and insurance companies refuse to pay.
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A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids
Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to endure six surgeries. His book 'In Pain' draws on his insights as a patient, and his subsequent research into pain medicine, to examine the larger problems and dilemmas surrounding prescription opioids and the larger opioid crisis.
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kataclysm

This episode explains why patients in the U.S. healthcare system often become addicted to opioids: non-addictive pain medications and treatments exist, but patients are denied them because opiods are so much cheaper.
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