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Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Shirley McClain works with the rural poor, and can see right away what happens to people who have no health care. "I can see the results - the eyes, the teeth. They're poor. They have to make a choice between food and medication." Shirley is a former school teacher who raised three children. After living in Michigan for several years,...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Mildred Fruhling was a broker, dealing in life, health and disability insurance, so she was, as she puts it, "a little bit ahead of the game." Because of her knowledge, activism, and continuing research, she remains better educated about health costs than most consumers. But that has not prevented Mildred and her husband, Leonard, from...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Julia Morrison is climbing aboard the Rx Express in hopes of getting some medications that will help with her eyes. But she also wants to continue her activism and spread the word about the dreadful state that health care coverage is in the United States. Julia, who lives in New York, is a long-time writer and consultant. Originally a mid-...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Until last year, Felix and Sandra Fraustro's health care was well taken care of. Felix had a long career in computer programming, and his employer covered both him and Sandra, as well as their children, who are now adults. The trouble began on Oct. 1, 2003, when McKesson laid off Felix. The Fraustros went on Cobra, but had to fight with McKesson...
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
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
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
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
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...