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Web Log

Feb 02, 2005

Medicare Repair

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Nov 29, 2004

Rx Express Success
Rx Express riders saved and average of 60% off the prescription drug prices they pay in the U.S. for an average annualized savings of $2000 each. Canada, like England, Ireland and other countries negotiates bulk discounts on behalf of all residents.
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Sep 29, 2004

Join Us On Board the East Coast Rx Express!
From October 11th through October 14th, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) � a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group � will charter a private train to take seniors and other patients to Toronto, Canada to legally purchase lower cost U.S. made prescription drugs.
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Aug 11, 2004

Ride The Rx Express
For the week prior to the Republican National Convention -- August 23rd to August 26th -- the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) will charter a train to take seniors, insured and uninsured patients, and small business owners from San Diego, California to Vancouver, Canada. The Rx Express will stop in dozens of towns in California, Oregon and Washington and pick up patients along the way.
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Jun 29, 2004

Rx Bulk Purchasing Gets New Support
Recently, 50 of the nation's largest employers announced plans to join forces to bulk purchase prescription drugs. The employer group hopes to use its combined purchasing clout to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to achieve discounts for employee health care benefits.
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May 18, 2004

U.S. Senate Health Committee Should Look To Rx Bulk Purchasing To Quell Medicare Debate
The pending proposals providing for the reimportation of prescription drugs are at their essence allowing U.S. consumers to piggy-back on Canada\'s bulk purchasing program. On the other hand, direct bulk discount negotiations by the Medicare program, or in conjunction with the existing U.S. DVA program, would cut out the middleman and circumvent drug company tactics to dry up excess supply in Canada.
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May 14, 2004

Big Business Boosts Bottom Lines By Bulk Purchasing Health Care for the Uninsured
Buying in large quantities and negotiating bulk discounts is hardly a revolutionary business strategy for the likes of I.B.M., GE and McDonald's. What is revolutionary is that these corporate monoliths have been compelled to offer health insurance for part-time employees, a group traditionally ignored by corporate HR departments.
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Apr 26, 2004

Removing Retirement Benefits Treats the Symptom Not the Disease
EEOC's pending rule change means that employers may cancel health benefits as former workers turn 65 while continuing to offer coverage to younger retirees. The result is that older seniors, many of whom rely on retirement benefits to supplement Medicare coverage, are left with increased out-of-pocket costs and fewer benefits.
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Apr 21, 2004

Pharma Says "No Fair!"
It is a good day when the biggest bullies on the block get a taste of their own medicine. That's exactly what happened today when the California Assembly committee with jurisdiction over the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) approved a bill to allow businesses and individual consumers to join a prescription drug bulk purchasing pool managed by the second largest purchaser of health care in the nation.
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Apr 20, 2004

"Big Pharma" Allergic to Sunshine
Three bills to be voted on this morning by the California Assembly Business & Professions Committee make pharmaceutical lobbyists convulse because they address concepts antithetical to the industry's (known collectively as Big Pharma) expansive profit margins: transparency, affordability, and accountability.
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Apr 19, 2004

CalPERS Rx Purchasing � Bigger is Better
The proposal authorizes the health care giant to maximize bulk purchasing discounts by allowing patients and businesses to join a CalPERS-run drug purchasing pool. By doing so, CalPERS could achieve deeper savings on the prescription drugs it currently purchases for state workers and allow individual patients and business owners to benefit from negotiated bulk discounts.
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Mar 23, 2004

L.A. Health Care Town Hall A Success
Responding to the strong outpouring, city councilman Antonio Villaraigosa is pursuing a city ordinance that would make LA the first city in America to bulk purchase prescription drugs, which could amount to an average savings of 20% for Los Angeles area residents.
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Mar 16, 2004

Should Los Angeles Secede From the State Health Care System? March 18th Town Hall Should Provide Some Answers
Los Angeles City and County face a range of health care problems that policy makers might best solve by seceding from the state's dysfunctional health care system and establishing local control.
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Mar 03, 2004

HMO Profits up 73%: Good News for Shareholders, Bad News for Patients
These surges in profits and uninsured rates should once for all make clear that oversight of premiums is needed. California has an opportunity to once again be a national leader in health care reform this year if the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger approve Senator Ortiz's (D-Sacramento) legislation, SB 1349, which would require health insurance to get approval for profit and administrative costs before raising rates. Similar requirements have been in place since 1988 for auto insurers.
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Feb 17, 2004

Pharmacists & Bush Administration Use Scare Tactics to Deter Drugs from Canada
Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that the California Pharmacists Association, joining in today's press conference, has a direct financial interest in slowing the importation of drugs from outside the country.
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Feb 13, 2004

RX Bulk Purchasing
The most promising of the reforms is a bill that would allow patients and business owners to purchase lower cost drugs by joining a bulk purchasing pool run by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). FTCR has called for such a program in addition to health insurance premium regulation and hospital rate setting as strategies to reduce the cost of health care and provide universal universal access.
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Feb 04, 2004

Tenet Healthcare on Shaky Ground
Tenet's decision to sell sets a dangerous precedent for a state with a lack of oversight of its hospitals. As of January 30, 154 of the state's approximately 470 acute care hospitals had requested extensions to the seismic safety deadlines. For a list of hospitals that have requested extensions, visit:
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Feb 02, 2004

Hospital Malpractice
The answer to California's hospital crisis is the adoption of time-tested independent oversight and system wide planning like Maryland has done since 1971, not a knee-jerk reaction to the state's nurse-to-patient ratio law.
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Jan 27, 2004

RX Bulk Purchasing and Re-importation are the Right Prescription for California
Bulk purchasing of drugs is a market-savvy strategy that could help to control costs and defray billions of dollars in potential budget cuts to state health care programs. California has the opportunity to once again lead the country in innovative health care reform.
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Jan 23, 2004

A Tale of Two Health Care Plans
Senator Edward Kennedy announced a health care plan yesterday modeled after California's new law requiring employers with more than 50 workers to provide health care or pay into an insurance pool. The plan provides a stark contrast to the hodge-podge of industry backed priorities that President Bush announced in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. However, a mandate that employers buy health care must contain comprehensive cost controls on insurers, hospitals and physicians or rates will continue to spiral upward.
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Jan 20, 2004

HMOs Get a Windfall, Seniors Get Short Changed
The Bush Administration says it wants to increase competition between Medicare and private insurance, but what it is really doing is rewarding health insurer excesses. As a result, seniors will pay more for less.
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Jan 13, 2004

"If you don't have your health you don't have much else."
As part of our efforts to bring about a cost-effective universal health care system, the California Health Consensus Project and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights will provide first-hand accounts of problems with, and solutions to, the health care system from the perspectives of the consumers, doctors, nurses, employers, and hospital executives that navigate it. Jon Marcus, an executive recruiter, has been insuring himself for several years through Blue Shield. But endless rounds of rate hikes have his head spinning.
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Jan 07, 2004

Will Schwarzenegger and the Legislature Ever Get to Cost Controls?
Consumers and business owners representing millions of Californians who are being priced out of the health care market sent a letter to Senate President pro Tem John Burton urging him to intervene on their behalf. The letter writers blamed HMO profiteering and system-wide waste for "exorbitant increases in our health care costs."

Michael Fry, a retired San Diego native wrote, "I just turned 60 and had no had serious complaints with the coverage until I received a notice from Kaiser that pushes my monthly premium up by 73 percent, to $961 a month, beginning Jan. 1 ... My wife and I can weather the storm - in the short term. We could ride through a year of this. But after that we're in trouble."
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