Archive for politics

Post #159 -His Name is Jar-Jar the Terrible

Posted in blogging, BOOKS, comedy, Family, humor, life, marriage, nonfiction, politics, relationships, true stories, uncategoried, writing, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by tenaciousbitch

Had trouble sleeping last night. Nothing new to read, and I couldn’t turn on the TV for fear that my horrible recurring nightmare had come true. Jar-Jar Binks, aka Jar-Jar the Terrible, just bought himself the Presidency. You know Jar-Jar, the Narcissist with the bad Comb-Over? Holy shit. It wasn’t a dream? There isn’t enough Merlot to stomach the headlines in the morning. Sigh. Perhaps, some strychnine or Drano with a side of cyanide will suffice instead. Glug. Glug.

All joking aside, my only solace in terms of coping with the deplorable and mind-boggling election of Jar-Jar the Terrible is that Hillary Rodham Clinton finally shattered a glass ceiling that is not only 240 years thick, but heretofore thought to be impenetrable by ANY woman, triumphing despite all odds to become the first woman nominated by the democratic party to run for President of the United States. Such is not only an historic event but an event unseen in a high percentage of the industrialized world as is common knowledge that there are very few heads of state who are female on this rock we call earth.

 

And despite Senator Clinton’s devastating loss, she’s a commendable example of what women can achieve because now, we finally have NO door that is closed to us despite whatever she may or may not have done with her Godforsaken emails and despite whatever political shenanigans she may or may not have committed as alleged by Jar-Jar’s smear campaign and by various coverage of the media.

The thing is, regardless of whether you like her or not, she’s got a helluva more experience than Donald Trump because we all know who really ran the White House back in the day when Bill was traipsing about the Hallowed Halls of our nation’s capital chasing after interns. And while many might have seen Hillary’s current plan for the country as more of the same, I saw it as a familiar journey with goals that are in alignment with what the people need and what the people want. Jobs. Prosperity. Equal Rights. More research and development to reduce our carbon footprint. A makeover of the disaster known as Obamacare. The end of legal bigotry and immigration reform, not the building of a wall to keep out “those People”.

I daresay our founding forefathers are grumbling and shouting from their graves in protest and frustration knowing a man has just been elected to the highest office in the land, and by his own words would like nothing more than to shatter the constitution and to “make this country great again” by refusing the matriculation of the poor, the hungry, the disenfranchised, the flat-chested (perhaps? :)) and to bar those whose religion or ethnicity offends Jar-Jar’s narrow-minded sensibilities, thereby decimating the principles this country was built upon.

However, I can’t help but hope that should that ludicrous boundary be built, that someone pushes Trump over his wall into a pit of Mexican Zombie Rapists.

Okay, maybe not. Sorry, I had to intervene with a little levity in order to survive the mere idea that the Donald, Jar-Jar the Terrible, is really going to be running this country in 10 short weeks. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to call myself an American with him at the helm, and I’m terrified that in 2021, I won’t recognize the country to which I was born.

Then, there’s Hillary Rodham Clinton, like Rosa Parks, who also suffered at the hands of ignorance and injustice, both of whom paved the way for more changes to come. While Mrs. Clinton, of course, hasn’t been wrongly imprisoned, I believe she was wrongly convicted in the court of public opinion, which I’m sure hurt her elect-ability immensely. So, maybe, Senator Clinton hasn’t done anything as significant as Rosa Parks’ defiance on that historic bus ride during the infancy of the Civil Rights Movement, but Senator Clinton had the potential to do so, in my opinion, and crossing over into the No-Man’s Land of Running for President, I believe she took her first step.

That said, I will tell my grandchildren that though Hillary Clinton lost, she won a huge victory for just being in the race. And, unfortunately, all too often adults are just like children, they have to learn the hard way what’s best for themselves and for their country and that I have faith that after 4 years of Mr. Trump, the country will be begging Hillary to run again, and I pray she will do so!! If not, she’s created a wide berth for another woman to walk in her shoes in 2021.

However, whatever happens, I cannot believe Trump will be elected twice. If so, I’ll be boarding a plane for Ecuador or some other distant and sunnier shore because I can’t bear the thought of Trump calling himself President again.

And regardless of what happens in the future, I feel proud and honored that I took part in an historical event when I voted for the first female candidate for President in the history of our great nation. And I honestly believe that Jar-Jar the Terrible will only be a sad footnote in the historical record of the U.S. like that of John Wilkes-Booth, known pretty known only as the man who killed a great leader who changed the lives of millions with one signature on the Emancipation Proclamation. In the same but slightly different vein, though Jar-Jar might’ve killed Hillary’s dream to be our Commander and Chief in 2017, I can’t believe that this electoral defeat has dashed her aspirations permanently. She’s too stubborn and too ambitious for that.

Therefore, I don’t believe this electoral debacle will be the last mention of First Lady, Secretary of State, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and for that I am also hopeful and eternally grateful for what Hillary has done thus far and feel indebted to her in doing what no woman has ever done before. Beat several men at what has traditionally been a man’s game. Now get back on the horse Hillary and figure out how to crush Jar-Jar the next time around! 🙂

 

Post #119 Death to Anthem Insurance and Leo Pharma!

Posted in beer, Family, fashion, humor, memoir, mysteries, nonfiction, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Unfortunately, I have psoriasis, which itches and burns so badly it is often painful to wear pants and sometimes even SHOES . For those who might be unfamiliar with this medical malady, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes an overproduction of skin cells that, unfortunately looks like a cross between measles and leprosy, which can often lay dormant for years even decades, which my doctor cannot explain nor predict (sigh).

It’s not pleasant, nor is it pretty. Sometimes though it is often fueled by stress.  However, my stress level has been astronomically better since Nana moved into a nursing home (see https://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/  as to why my beloved Grandmother is such a pill).

The ONLY treatment that helps is a topical prescription called Taclonex, which I’ve been using for almost ten years. Originally, it cost around $500, which is a lot for a 100-gram tube of ointment. However, my co-pay was around $35, so I could live with that.

Oh, but that’s not the American way, is it? A mere 80% markup isn’t enough these days.  CEOs can’t really buy a new jet every year on that, can they? Leo Pharmaceuticals might not make the HOTTEST toy this Christmas that every 12-year-old clamors for, however, Leo borrowed the same marketing principles of supply and demand and used them to a very ugly end.

Once Leo Pharm realized that their ointment is the ONLY product that actually gets rid of psoriasis for people with chronic cases (though only short-lived for me), they acted just like your average street corner drug dealer peddling smack by jacking up the price like nobody’s business because they KNEW those of us who have this disease would be REALLY JONESING for more – because it’s so painful.

And additionally, for the first time in 15 years, I experienced being spot free, and I could WEAR SHORTS IN PUBLIC the entire summer here in Ohio when the temps often exceed 90 degrees (around 30 Celsius for my friends abroad). Until this product came along, I often had to go out to dinner on a HOT summer night (say around 80 degrees) wearing jeans because, otherwise, the hostess at the restaurant might notice the red splotches on my skin and ask if I have chicken pox?!! The vitamin D in the sun’s rays helps so tanning salons and sunbathing are an option but NOT a cure.

In the WINTER it gets much worse, so, of course, now I can’t afford the co-pay, which I’ll get to in a minute. And check this out…the recommended dosage from my doctor is 100 grams/week, but the price has escalated so high, my insurance (ANTHEM and most insurances) will only pay for 100 GRAMS/MONTH.

This is what’s wrong with our insurance and healthcare system in America. You have to destroy the capitalism within the system before anything improves. I hate to say that because I grew up in a houseful of Republicans, but it’s true. Capitalism does NOT belong in healthcare but the prickly part is how to remove it. But no one’s talking about or even suggesting such, and this is why OBAMAcare will fail. No, I’m not a communist or a fascist. But the free enterprise model of economics is awesome = except when it comes to healthcare. and I just want medical treatment that VISA isn’t going to SUE ME FOR if I can’t pay for it somewhere down the road, capiche?

In that, I’m not advocating Socialism for the entire country, but with capitalism running rampant within the healthcare system, you can’t try to impose a socialist idea like healthcare for everyone – damned the cost because the system is run by a huge network of greedy bastards who are still going to charge $40 for an aspirin in every hospital in America or $500 for a prescription that cost $80 to make (i.e. Talconex, but now it’s WAY more than that)…And all the folks in Washington seem to be doing is finger pointing. And oh, bloody hell that does a lot of good, does it not?

But politics aside, Leo Pharm and Anthem Insurance are the bad guys here. In that, when Anthem increased my co-pay to $598 for Taclonex in July, I called them. No, I’m not JOKING – FIVE HUNDRED, NINETY-8 DOLLARS! And this product doesn’t cure cancer! It doesn’t heal a hole in one’s heart!! It gets rid of a fucking RASH.

Anyway, Anthem gave me the spiderweb of runarounds. So, I charged the prescription to my credit card in July and August because I was miserable. Then, in September – it was still $598. I wasn’t going to buy any, in October, but my feet bled every time I wore shoes. I called them AGAIN about the $598 copay, and they said my doc needed to call in a Pre-Authorization before they would reduce the copay to $448! Are you fucking SERIOUS? But NO ONE had mentioned this before, and I thought -having danced on this fucking merry-go-round for years – that a Pre-Auth had already been done.

And the whole Pre-Authorization bullshit is a scam anyway if you’ve not had the pleasure of trolling through this corporate quagmire yet. HELLO, If my doctor didn’t think this drug was medically necessary, why the FUCK would she prescribe it? As if my doc just prescribed it just for kicks – just to scribble words on a page. Au contraire, in reality, a pre-authorization requirement is merely a tactic to DELAY the insurance company’s responsibility in paying for the prescription in the hope that the consumer/patient will not want to bother jumping through the WAY TOO MANY hoops required for people just trying to acquire the medical products/services they obviously need.

Anywho, my doctor’s office called Anthem. At which point, they said NO PRE-AUTHORIZATION IS NEEDED. Oh, my FUCKING GOD!!!  Can you say RED TAPE AT ITS FINEST?! I was mute with shock! The nurse kept talking about other scripts I’d tried that didn’t work, and all I could think of was that Athem and Leo were bending me over, and I was now powerless to do anything about it.

And that’s the thing that really gets me by the throat. All these fucking marketing gurus and CEO’S live to bleed as much fucking money they can from the average consumer without one single thought about the consequences to us, their bread and butter.  Everyone has to make a profit and pay their bills, but I do believe by now Leo Pharm has accrued its pot of gold by raising their price every goddamned year. 

So, the nurse called in another prescription. It didn’t do shit. So, I crunched the bullet and paid the fucking $448 for the Taclonex. I don’t know why it wasn’t $598. Maybe, an elf voo-dooed the computer, LOL. I didn’t ask. I just went WEE WEE WEE all the way home before the computer could change its mind! 🙂

However, the thing is – Leo Pharm is losing their patent, which means every Tom, Dickhead and Harry in the pharmaceutical world can produce this wonder drug at a fraction of the cost. So, Leo Pharm only has so much time to EXTORT additional money from their consumers before this particular cash cow is put out to pasture…

My pharmacist, God Bless him, was so sympathetic, that he searched high and low for an online coupon. He found one, but it was for the wrong prescription, and get this…they emailed me (Leo Pharm) actually WELCOMING ME to the Leo Family when this coupon card was activated! Isn’t that sweet…and check out my reply…

From: [mailto: kennedysmith@XXXXXX.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:38 PM
To: ‘JXXXGruberon@LeoP.com’
Subject: RE: Letter from LEO Pharma Inc

Thanks, but that discount card was activated in error. My doctor didn’t prescribe Talclonex Topical Suspension. She prescribed the Taclonex Ointment, so I couldn’t use the discount card mentioned in the letter attached.

And furthermore, I really HATE, despise and LOATHE your company for charging more than $1500 for Taclonex, when a stronger version of the very same product ALSO manufactured by Leo Pharmaceuticals is less than $300 in Canada for 20% MORE of the damned ointment!

I hope your CEO and the majority stockholders at Leo are enjoying their new yachts or new Mercedes they’re able to afford with the outrageous $598 co-pay I’ve been forced to charge to my Visa the last couple of months. And I so love adding to my ever-mounting credit card debt for medical expenses – especially due to the fact that I’ve been unemployed for most of the last 2 years.

I’ve heard that Leo will be losing the original patent on Taclonex in about a year, and I will be drinking champagne and clicking up my heels that day—unless my psoriasis is so bad that I can’t wear shoes, much less click my heels.

So, fuck you and your goddamned USELESS discount!!!

A very unhappy customer.

TENACIOUS BITCH

otherwise known as KENNEDY SMITH

Columbus, Ohio

US FUCKING A

________________________________________________________

I feel really bad that I verbally accosted the woman who sent me this form email, but I was livid, and I’ve mentioned my horrendous temper (i.e. https://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/10/07/how-i-almost-murdered-ex-husband-2/  ), which is no excuse, but it’s too late now. It didn’t bounce back, so it wasn’t an automated address.  Maybe, she laughed because she hates Leo too. Maybe, it really upset her, who knows.

I just happened to notice the actual retail price on the receipt from the pharmacy. Talk about STICKER shock. And that’s why the copay has been $598. In that, all drugs that cost over $500 have a 40% copay on my policy, so the Pre-Authorization nonsense are just empty words.  But the poor schmucks answering the phone could never say that even if THEY KNEW why the co-pay had gone nuclear. And I wasn’t fabricating that part about the Canadian product. Check this out (from the website of the Canadian drug store):

You searched for:

Taclonex

Marketed as Dovobet Ointment in United Kingdom and Canada

Dovobet Ointment 0.05%/0.005%

CALCIPOTRIENE/BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE

Manufactured by: Leo Pharma
This product is offered for sale by Day Lewis of United Kingdom

From $2.20 USD/gram

All of which is, so fucking typical, and, unfortunately, so fucking American…

Maybe, I should just move to Mexico. The lovely sun would definitely help my skin, and at least if the drug lords come after me down there, I’ll see ’em coming, and I can start shootin’ when I see the whites of their eyes…LOL…instead of yelling at them from cyberspace cuz Leo Pharm doesn’t list the address for their corporate office ANYWHERE online that I can find, probably for fear people like me will show up M-16s BLARING…:)

PEACE OUT from oh, my FUCKING GOD NOT AGAIN central…

Tenacious BITCH and her band of truth spouting hippies….

Kennedy/TB