When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested

The judge has no legal background. The lawyer gets a cut of any collections. And the people of Coffeyville end up buried in debt or in jail or both, just for trying to go to the doctor.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Oct 16, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,575 words)

These Sheriffs Release Sick Inmates to Avoid Paying Their Hospital Bills

It’s not only cruel, it draws into question what incarceration is for.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Sep 30, 2019
Length: 17 minutes (4,438 words)

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

A deeply upsetting object lesson in how the arcane details of inheritance and property law are used to strip black Americans of their land.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jul 15, 2019
Length: 30 minutes (7,602 words)

The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor

In partnership with MLK50, ProPublica investigates a nonprofit hospital system’s aggressive debt collection practices with poor patients: “Its own employees are no exception. Since 2014, Methodist has sued dozens of its workers for unpaid medical bills, including a hospital housekeeper sued in 2017 for more than $23,000. That year, she told the court, she made $16,000. She’s in a court-ordered payment plan, but in the case of more than 70 other employees, Methodist has garnished the wages it pays them to recoup its medical charges.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jun 27, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,630 words)

Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened

“In 2016, 10 sailors were captured by Iran. Trump is making it a political issue. Our investigation shows that it was a Navy failure, and the problems run deep.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jun 24, 2019
Length: 25 minutes (6,260 words)

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers

Stem cell purveyors suggest that they “ease” every aging-related malady from arthritis and erectile dysfunction to wrinkles and everything in between. What don’t these stem cell snake-oil salespeople have? Any science to prove these claims or any scruples about preying on the vulnerable at tens of thousands of dollars per injection.

Source: ProPublica
Published: May 7, 2019
Length: 27 minutes (6,854 words)

The IRS Tried to Take on the Ultrawealthy. It Didn’t Go Well.

In 2009 the IRS created a special team to investigate when and how the extremely wealthy were avoiding taxes. Reporters Jesse Eisenger and Paul Kiel illustrate how that team was stymied using the case of the heir to a German automative parts fortune.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Apr 5, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,822 words)

The Lucky Ones

In sharing the story of each of her tattoos and their meaning, journalist Adriana Gallardo — who was once an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — recounts her family’s hard won-luck at life in America, a luck they earned by back-breaking janitorial work and sheer determination.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 19, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,261 words)

Years of Warnings, Then Death and Disaster

“The men and women of the Navy deserve better.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 7, 2019
Length: 32 minutes (8,140 words)

Fight the Ship: Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed By Its Own Navy

When a cargo ship plowed into the USS Fitzgerald, it tore a hole in the destroyer as big as a tractor trailer; seven sailors ultimately died. A cargo ship should be hard to miss, so how did it happen?

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 6, 2019
Length: 71 minutes (17,829 words)