Category Archives: Unemployment

Who are the Beneficiaries of Prescription Medications?

Certainly not the person who pays for prescriptions and ingests them. Yes; it’s the drug companies and it’s only getting worse. As I age I seem to have more prescription drugs recommended, mostly for minor and /or temporary, diagnoses. And when I ask for generics, I find that their cost is no less, or maybe not much less, than the prescribed medications. I was told today by a reputable pharmacist that generics, when they are first developed, do in fact cost the same as the usual medications. So what’s the benefit in buying generics. Oh sure, I could drive for miles to the big box stores in nearby cities to get a bit of a discount. But what’s the discount in wasting money and stress on fuel to drive around for comparison shopping?

The consumer is certainly not the beneficiary in all of this asking for generics and driving around.

I have been spending on the average of about $500/month on medications, some generic, and some with pharmacy discounts. And I do not have several diagnoses. These are for hypertension, and bladder muscle insufficiency. And a temporary edema of my cornea. And due to lay offs from work in my profession, I have no insurance coverage of any sort, and have finally resorted to living on nothing but Social Security benefits, having exhausted my retirement savings, after only 5 years into a forced “retirement”.

I don’t think I am the only one in this dilemma. Any ideas to share with me and others? Yes, AARP offers plans to somewhat solve these problems, but they can be costly as well, deducted from my Social Security benefits!

I recognize two societal problems that need to be dealt with, though both are long term problems ingrained in the core of our economic system.

First, physicians are “trained” by the pharmaceutical industry to treat every ailment with drugs when a sometimes simple lifestyle adjustment can solve a problem. An example: prescribing laxatives and stool softeners when an ounce or two of prune juice is just as effective. Another example is recommending an over the counter drug like prilosec when avoiding acidic or fatty food might be just as effective.

Secondly, some action, perhaps governmental, must be taken to control the costs charged by the pharmaceutical companies. Why do they choose to WAIT before lowering the cost of a new generic? Obviously to make more money awhile longer, certainly for no reason that benefits the consumer.

health care insurance?

being unemployed and not yet 65, how does one pay for health care? AARP just informed me that at their coverage for me had been “used up”. and the basic health plan (charity care) in the state in which i live also informed me that i have used my allotted $1500 and would be placed back on the “waiting list” for further health care coverage. who knows where or when? this state, like i am sure others have done, have cut back on any and all funding for health care. now what? i am trying to beg the social worker in my orthopedics office for one last  “free” appt to check on the fractures of my femur and pelvis.

Yay! For dental schools…

Having been unemployed for over a year, I have no medical or dental insurance. Pretty scary, as Barack knows. So I decided to go to my local dental college. It was pretty amazing. All the recommendations made by my local money mongering dentist were nixed by the student and her professors who are in the business of good service and care, not retiring next year with a fat income.

Having been a health professional student myself, years ago, I admire the interest in learning, interest in providing optimal care, integrity, not to mention learning how to navigate the halls of academia, without getting lost, before you graduate.

And all at reasonable cost. Takes more time, but it is worth every minute and every penny.

No Health Insurance

Thankfully the democratic party candidates are in tune with the fact that we have 47 million Americans without health insurance, sometimes due to job elimination, like myself. And health insurance is not affordable without assistance from an employer, except for the very wealthy, and those that have spouses and domestic partners whose insurance they can tag on to.

And why is health insurance beyond our reach? Obviously, the insurance industry wants profits by driving up rates. And I believe that the pharmaceutical companies are creating diagnoses, and recommending drugs, that we all “need! “Just ask your provider,” whoever that is…

And who are two strong lobbies: the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies? And who is helping to finance most of the presidential aspirants?

What on earth is a “nervous breakdown”? why can’t people sleep at night? what is “restless leg syndrome”? Where did this stuff all come from? We should all be taking 21 drugs each day? Oh, and you need a stool softener, and laxative for breakfast that may make you “regular”. And a daily decongestant, whereas just being in a vertical position and blowing your nose in the morning may work just fine. Why? Why not choose a healthy lifestyle instead?

Why not jog or walk your dog (you would both benefit), stretch, swim, eat properly i.e. a diet rich in fruits, veggies, grains? Try to avoid anything but the essential drugs that you really need to stay alive.

All of these drugs, too many drugs, interact with each other, and can kill you. Less is better.

Balancing Job Offers

Finally, after a lay off happened to me in October of 2006, my applying and interviewing has paid off, or just about. Looking for work can be harder than working. I have been offered two positions: one with a great salary, a 2 year contract, with NO benefits; the other with a lower salary, with a 1 year contract (open for renewal) with great benefits.

Which one do you think I decided to accept?

 Since last October, I have been one of those Americans with no health insurance, a very precarious and scary place to be, especially as I am getting older. Maybe that would be okay if I was 21 and in my prime. I have no major health problems, am not old enough for medicare, don’t have a spouse whose benefits I can share, and suppose someone decides to run me over as I cross the street? Or shoot me? A real possibility in this city where, from my observation. drivers do not seem to know the rules of the road. (they speed through yield signs, brake going up hill, lose track of the width of lanes, have no clue what to do if two or more cars come to an intersection at the same time) So I liquidate all my assets to pay medical and dental bills, and ask my sons to buy me a shopping cart for Mother’s Day!

 This is an issue to think seriously about in our next presidential election. I have worked as a health professional for 39 years, paid my taxes, paid into social security. It seems like I have a right to a relatively comfortable life, with health insurance. Or don’t we have rights anymore? I might do better moving to a foreign country where there is national health insurance. We are LONG OVERDUE for this here.

 When I was an undergrad student in the 60’s, I had a professor who said that we would have  a national health insurance program by the time we graduated in 1968. What a dreamer…I hope, if she is still teaching, that she has become jaded and doesn’t say this anymore…

I Quit My Job! Wow!

I have an unemployment hearing with a judge on August 1st. Now that will be a challenge I am not used to. I tried to find info about the judge on line, but could only find her office number. So here is what i plan to say, if they even give me the time of day…

UNEMPLOYMENT HEARING, AUGUST 1, 2007

  • Except for technology, I was overqualified, overeducated, and over experienced for this position.
  • My 39 year career has been in public health or academia (sometimes both at the same time). This is where my heart is and where I thrive, contribute, and can be creative. I am trying to develop “connections” and “find leads” in these areas and believe that I will find something. I just need to expand to a broader geographic area.
  • I was unemployed for a short time (8/04 until 3/05) because my temporary position ended. I did not collect unemployment at that time.
  • The position was advertised as nursing supervisor. However, I was expected to be a clinical expert and fill in for nursing staff. I was expected to use clinical skills that I do not have and have not practiced since I was an undergraduate student. This is not where my professional strengths lie. Since I left the position, it is now advertised as Nursing Lead, a clinical position. I did not in any way misrepresent myself in the interview process, and my curriculum vitae are very clear and accurate as to my education, abilities, and experiences.
  • When I arrived in this position I sought out several staff, since they did not have the respect and consideration to introduce themselves to me. And the usual comment I received was “wow; I am surprised you were hired, since our director only wants us to hire “fill in ethnic group”. Yet I was expected to be culturally sensitive, which I have needed to be in all of my positions and have always supported, and taught that ideology.
  • My communication from the unemployment offices has always referred to an incorrect address. There is no such place.
  • My most recent communication from the unemployment offices has also referred to “name withheld “as my employer. I have never heard of, nor met, this person.
  • I also have been misquoted as to why I left my position. It was NOT for personal reasons, but rather due to “our management and communication styles are incompatible”. I spoke, at length, in my exit interview, about how I felt this position should be represented, because I felt that it was misrepresented to me. I have noticed that it is no longer described as a nursing supervisor position, but now rather as a “lead nurse” to provide nursing services.
  • As one can tell from my curriculum vitae, I am very well educated and have been employed for 39 years as a health professional in high expectation capacities and have been extremely successful prior to my move to Washington.
  • I now find myself disconnected from a world in which it is “connections” that lead to the best positions. I feel that I am getting “closer”.
  • Since I was the victim of a major lay off at (insurance company) in October of 2006, I have applied for more than 150 positions and have had several interviews. And I have also accepted two positions that were not a good match for me, technologically.