That one-minute recipe for "crushing" medical bills? It's real.   

A couple weeks ago, I wrote you about the viral TikTok video where Jared Walker outlines a legal strategy for zapping medical bills.

Since then, I've talked with Jared— and with experts who confirm that the recipe he gives for killing medical bills, via charity care laws, is legally sound.

And with enough elbow grease, it could wipe out billions of dollars in medical debts, every year. It's today's episode, and it's pretty darn cheerful.

Of course Jared's strategy not a cure-all. These laws only apply to non-profit hospitals, and not everybody qualifies for charity care. And Jared has a LOT of scaling-up to do.

But he's off to a promising start, and wiping out billions of dollars a year in medical debt seems like a FINE, fine project. His organization is called Dollar For, and I think you'll enjoy their story.

It can't all be good news. Skip these two if you're full-up on rage right now.

Lots of stories are too enraging, terrifying and depressing to put on the podcast, including two that came out in the last few weeks.

If you can handle the rage, they're worth a look:

1. When more insurance means bigger bills: Our pals at Kaiser Health News and NPR looked at a little-known— and totally WILD rule. When new parents both have separate health insurance, baby gets covered by... the policy of whichever parent has a birthday earlier in the year.  YES, REALLY.

Argh. And... 

2. When your hospital doesn't want your insurance. They want YOUR money.

If you've been in a car crash, and could get a settlement for "pain and suffering" — or to pay other expenses you incur (from missing work, for ongoing medical rehab)— the hospital that treated you first may say they want to be paid from that settlement. Because doing so allows them to charge their full rate— usually a LOT more than your insurance would pay them. 

In the NY Times, Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg lay out the whole enraging thing

Look, if you haven't clicked on the links, DON'T. It's just rotten.

OK, you've earned this one, from The Onion.

Apparently, thousands of health-care workers got to attend the Super Bowl. The Onion noticed, and found the angle:

NFL Bankrupted After Receiving $6.3 Trillion Bill From Hospitals For Healthcare Workers Appearance, with perfect "quotes" from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

And this Goodell "quote" was great too:

"A hundred years and it’s all gone with one medical bill. How do they expect us to pay this? We could sell off every team and it still wouldn’t even come close. They didn’t even warn us either, they acted like it was no big deal and then they slam us with this bill just because 7,200 of these people were out of network."

I often say, "You can't make this stuff up."  But I'm glad they did.

That's it! Catch you in a couple weeks.

Till then, enjoy the Dollar For episode, send me your best Onion headlines, or whatever else you've got.

And, always but especially now: Take care of yourself.

- Dan

This is the newsletter for An Arm and a Leg, a podcast about the cost of health care.

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