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Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Pat and Dave Parker know plenty about the unreasonable cost of prescription drugs. That hard-to-meet expense, along with other abuses of the health care system, has dogged them for years now. Their Blue Cross premiums and drug co-pays increased this year alone by 80 percent. Over the past few years, the Parkers have struggled to survive rising...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
When Carole Jaquez rides the Rx Express across the U.S.'s northern boundary into Canada, it will not be the first time she's gone to another country to try to buy affordable medications. The only difference is that this time she'll be going north of the border instead of south. Either way, it's the same quandary: Carole, now 78, and on a fixed...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Stephy and Carl Barstow have become experts at making a little money go a long way. But even with their frugality, this senior couple from Sherman Oaks has to struggle to make ends meet: One of the chief reasons is the cost of prescription medications. The Barstows spend thousands of dollars a year on them. They are heading for Vancouver on the Rx...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Three years ago, Carla Coco Boutte hit rock bottom. Her employer of 25 years had cut her loose just as she was about to qualify for her pension. She had serious health problems. She had no job, no money, no medical coverage. "I had nothing," she says. But Carla pulled herself up, and today she is on the road to a college degree and,...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Terelle Terry has a different moniker for the "RX Express" - she calls it the "Overground Railroad." The appellation, borrowed from the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape to Canada before the Civil War, fits Terelle's persona: It incorporates both her knowledge of history and her activist inclinations. Terelle, 70,...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Dr. Paul Smith has seen the health care delivery system from the points of view of a physician, a patient and a scholar. He also knows how health care works on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, and he is tired of hearing the Canadian side being maligned by voices in the U.S. That's especially true in regards to prescription drugs, which the...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
At 77, Barbara Turner takes a slew of medications: for high cholesterol, acid reflux, diuretics. A Kaiser member, she is able to get most of them with a reasonably low co-pay. But only because they are generic drugs. The problem comes with brand-name medications. Kaiser is no help there; there is no cap on how much patients pay for these...
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...