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Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Sonja Clarke describes herself and her husband Bill as "old school." They worked hard, raised a family, and lived life according to the rules. They budgeted and saved, and planned things out very carefully. They never expected that, as they entered their golden years, they would have to sell their home in order to pay for health care Yet...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Jean Scott knows how to be frugal. She has been forced to learn. At 76, the retired Portland counselor receives a monthly Social Security check for $755, and she just recently learned she will get $1,000 a month NET from Oregon's Public Employees Retirement System. After necessary expenditures, there's not much left. She has taken in boarders to...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Franny Grippen is not trying to make a statement about health care in general by climbing aboard the RX express. She just wants to save a little bit of money on four prescription drugs that simply cost too much in the United States. Franny, 84, has been in Portland for four years. She lived most of her life in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she worked for...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Most casualties of the health insurance industry's excesses see their victimhood from one point of view: that of the health insurance consumer. But Leigh Williford has a leg up on them. Like them, Leigh and her husband have fallen prey to the rising costs that befall other consumers. But she also works in a doctor's office and sees the "...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
For the past three years, ever since they took the first elephant-sized hit on their premium, Ceci Ellis and her husband have been slogging though the health care jungles, swinging a figurative machete at the various vines health insurers have strewn across their path. It hasn't been easy, and they have not reached a clearing yet. They have had to...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Kim and Kerry Olson have had a downhill paddle through the swamps and sloughs of the American health care system since Kim got seriously ill seven years ago. They are surviving, barely, because they have learned to navigate the system, at least on its surface. But they are one bad break away from living on the street. They think it's time for a...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Richard Rowell, who spent a lifetime with his nose to the grindstone, figured that as a guy got older he ought to be able to kick back a bit and enjoy the fruits of his labors, including the financial fruits. But Kaiser Permanente has reached into Rowell's fiscal orchard and has been plucking some of Rowell's harvest. Finally, this year, Rowell is...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Ritva Curley came to the United States from her native Finland more than three decades ago, and she can't be blamed if she occasionally wishes she were back there, at least insofar as the medical treatment she receives. Finland, like most industrial countries, has a form of socialized medicine. To people in Ritva's fix, it looks good by comparison...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Dr. Doug Roberts spent years working for the mega-health care corporations, the ones that force doctors to treat patients like a fork-lift driver treats cartons in a warehouse. As he cared for those who came to him for help, he gradually developed a better idea. Now he has put it into practice, and he expects that other physicians will follow....
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Tom Garbin, a 60-year-old comedian from Australia who came to the United States a quarter of a century ago, is anything but amused at the way his health care provider has treated him over the past five years. First it stalled him relentlessly as he tried to get authorization for treatment, a series of delays that in one case almost cost him his...