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Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
During their working years, Nellie and David McGovern's health care was taken care of. Nellie was an R.N. and David worked as a pipe fitter at a paper company. They were covered through Dave's work. Both were healthy. As they grew older however, problems developed. David, now 78, had a heart attack in 1995 and needs Pravacal. Nellie, 74, has had...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Sharon Fowler knows all about the high cost of prescription drugs. She has learned the hard way. In fact, she knows far more about the out-of-control health insurance system in general than she ever expected to. Sharon lost her business because of last winter's six-month-long Ralphs strike, which was all about health care costs. Even before she...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Like other passengers on the RX Express, Tom Garbin hopes to get a prescription drug in Canada at a lower price than he would pay in California. In his case, it's Neurontin, which helps alleviate pain from a hereditary foot disease. But Tom has another reason for going: He wants to use the bully pulpit the train provides to argue that the American...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...