Several recent podcasts provide enlightening alternate approaches to learning about health insurance issues and Swine Flu (H1N1).
The clever construction and creative presentation of two audio pieces on This American Life provide insights that are otherwise unavailable in even the best standard news accounts of these subjects. These shows do not present complete pictures of their subjects, by any means, but the personal examples nonetheless illustrate aspects of the health care system for our benefit. Highlights include brief accounts of the development of private health insurance in the United States, examples of how the spending of health care dollars can be anything but transparent, and a feature on health insurance for pets. Available in ITunes and through the show website here: Someone Else’s Money and More is Less. Pass the word!
A more typical journalistic account delves into the remarkable change in health care over time and provides food for thought on patients, doctors and costs in the world of modern medicine. From NPR: How the Modern Patient Drives Up Health Costs.
Two excellent straight-forward interviews by Neil Conan on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, provide clear and thoughtful discussions of Swine Flu and vaccine risks. Listening to the interviews, rather than reading a few sound bites from them, can give a sense of how the experts look at the risks and choices presented by the current Swine flu outbreak.
Finally, NPR’s Your Health Podcasts offer discussions and reporting on Swine Flu (H1N1) issues in the “Flu, Old and New” episode. This episode is available on Itunes: NPR: Your Health: Flu, Old and New (October 10, 2009). I was unable to locate a link on the NPR website.
To continue your research: http://www.flu.gov/
My October 12, 2009 story: Swine Flu (H1N1) Experts and Bill Maher on the Vaccine and Managing Your Risk
and Taxing Health Insurance Plans from October 13, 2009.