As a bright-eyed family medicine physician fresh out of her residency, Laura Gottlieb expected to face challenges as she cared for low-income Seattle residents. She steeled herself to confront the ravages of addiction and HIV. Gottlieb knew many had histories of abuse and trauma, and they also had to manage chronic conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure.
Gottlieb had tools, however imperfect, to address her patients’ direct and immediate medical needs. She could prescribe insulin for diabetes, inhalers for asthma, and statins for high cholesterol. What she couldn’t do was ensure that the people she treated had…
In the past 10 years, the price of insulin in the United States has tripled. For those people with diabetes who have to buy their insulin without insurance or with high-deductibles and coinsurance plans, the inflated price of this essential drug has forced impossible choices between buying insulin and paying for rent or buying food. (In some cases, biohackers with diabetes are even making their own insulin.)
In one 2019 study, one in four people with diabetes reported using less insulin than they needed because of the cost. This can impact blood sugar levels and lead to long-term consequences like…
David Johnson and Terri Brady met at Harvard while both were working on master’s degrees in public policy. He became an investment banker, specializing in complex financial instruments like derivatives and options. She added a law degree from Columbia.
When the couple moved to Chicago and needed to figure out which health insurance plan to select from Brady’s employer, it felt natural for the duo to set up a spreadsheet. They’d simply calculate tradeoffs among the different plans, such as annual premiums and deductibles. After hours of frustration, however, the couple came to a realization.
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