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Got Those Old Donut-hole Blues?

Here’s Most Everything You Want Need To Know About The Current Health-Care Reform Bill

Outfoxing the Grim Reaper

WHAT A YEAR THIS HAS BEEN! Frank explains how he and Carolyn cope both having terminal cancer. Hmm. They're coping pretty well if you read between the lines.

Suddenly Senior Back In The Fall —
Supported By Your Donations

We've had a harrowing time and now need a break after nine years and 4,550 pages at Suddenly Senior. Learn what happened

On The Trail To Cancer Survival:
Carolyn's Stem Cell Transplant

She's been to hell and back. Here's what it's like to be a cancer survivor for a year.

The Pitfalls Of Passionate Care

When I had a heart attack last week, I wasn't about to call 911. My wife, Carolyn, has cancer. She needed caring for. Next thing in knew I was in an ambulance, sirens screaming.

The 800-pound "D" Word in the Room

No one mentions "Great Depression II." Most deny that we're even in a recession right now. But read the facts. See what you think. If you believe, as Frank does, that we're in for a bumpy ride, here's what you can do about it.

Apologies To My Youngest Grandchildren

I write this to apologize for the America we now pass on to you, and to give you some guidance on how to undo our mistakes, giving your grandchildren a country that truly supports peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

Spending Your $300 Rebate (2008)

With a $300 "rebate" headed your way soon — this column will tell you when — a look back to 2001 when we received a similar amount to spend to "save the economy." But where to spend it? That's the big question.

Low-Income Retirees Ignored In Stimulus Package Simplified Senate Bill Includes Most Seniors

Once again, in 2008, the nation's in economic hot water. Here's how the President, the House, and the Senate plan to spend our way out. Only one plan puts money in most seniors' pockets. And it may require a phone call.

Maturity Works! And Not for Peanuts.

You can bet your Rudy Vallee megaphone that you'll never see an ad for Lipitor, AARP, or a retirement community picturing a grim, real-life, moth-eaten, desk-bound working coot. Yet, millions of us past the age of 65 trudge off to work daily. Here’s how to find the job you want.

The Hidden Disadvantages Of Medicare "Advantage"

Like its predecessor, Medicare+Choice, the current Medicare "Advantage" program is a shimmering mirage of cheap co-pays, cheaper hospital stays, and the quaint notion that it's "free of some anonymous Washington bureaucrat pushing you around." Unfortunately, in reality it is just the opposite.

Seniors Too Trusting? Or Just Stupid?

Today's seniors are the last generation of Americans to trust one another. What a shame, then, that such virtue is today twisted and tailored by countless scammers to pick the pockets of the elderly.

Falling Down the Donut Hole? What Now?

Two, no three actions you can take to help your pocketbook. While Congress has you between a rock and a sick place, this could save you both money and health.

When "Advantage" Isn't

Our experience with a Medicare Advantage HMO left us reeling. Millions of you are in the same boat. The private Medicare Advantage program is costly and unfair. And finally, now we can do something about it.

Social Security Trustees Live In Alternate Universe

With prices soaring and record increases in Medicare premiums, the powers that be have pronounced we’re entitled to a 2.3 percent increase in Social Security next year. Whoopee!

(A cry in the wilderness to take the money
out of politics and save our democracy)

Last Monday our bribed politicians screwed us again. Congress today is addicted to corporate and union money. Isn’t it time we take back our country before those doofuses give away everything to those who bribe them? Here’s how.

Originally written in 2000, now back by popular demand spurred by Christopher Buckley’s new book, Boomsday, which tells the story of when the Social Security crisis peaks and senior suicides are encouraged by government.

War “Effort” No Effort for the Rest of Us

Mr. Bush’s War is being paid for with the blood and out of the pockets of others. Yet no one — no Republican, no Democrat — has the guts to suggest that we tax ourselves now for this war’s real dollar cost. Is it fair to let our kids and their kids pay?

Stories from the front lines. How the insurance companies screw seniors. And a question: What did the CEO of UnitedHealth Group do to earn $82,121 an hour?

The administration lies. Instead of prices and coverage remaining the same, truth is, premiums are up 10 to 44 percent. Humana drops brand-name drugs in the $2,850 "donut hole," and it may be time to switch to a Medicare Advantage program, despite the hassle.
With both parties taking orders from the same boss — no, not we the people, but corporations that value their own profits far more than they value their own country, here's what's at stake and why we must vote.

With the drug companies now in control of the FDA, Pharma uses its power to frighten seniors and intimidate pharmacies selling affordable medicine. Worse, they stop drugs at the border from those of us needing them most.

More than anything else, American seniors are concerned that the annual cost-of-living raise is inadequate and unfair. Which in truth it is. Here’s proof.

Tired of getting 5% interest? Here’s how to get 50,000%, just like the big guys. And how to save democracy while you’re at it.
Lifetime penalties await all those seniors who delay doing the bidding of our government. Is that any way to treat fellow Americans? Read the alternatives to this sorry mess.
When Gloria and Russ Tuttle married, they couldn't imagine that, four years later, a Medicare drug plan might force them to divorce. A love story, American-style.
Greedy geezers get blamed for all America's financial ills these days. What with gazillions going for Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other programs promoting greed and sloth among us old poops, seems there's hardly anything left for political pork, corporate welfare, and war.
Gaggles of Raging Grannies all across the US and Canada promote global peace, justice, and social and economic equality by raising public awareness through the medium of song and humor. If only guys could join.
When Plan D insurance companies let greed dictate service, seniors became exasperated by the wanton gall of it all. Seems time to demonstrate to America that we still remember that democracy is government of, by, and especially, for the people.
I called my Congressman today to ask him how big his donut hole is. Guess what? He doesn't have a donut hole. Nor does he have to pay out of pocket for drugs not covered. In fact, the People's House lives by very different rules than you and I. Is that fair? Read Frank's modest proposal.
Wouldn't that explain a lot? Who else but aliens, posing as "representatives of the people," would dismiss their constituents' biggest problems, listening only to and voting only for those who give them big money? For proof, read Plan D!
While Medicare's Plan D sinks under the weight of political bribes and drug and insurance giveaways, a recent Congressional report concludes the drug prices offered by Part D drug plans are “over 60 percent higher than the prices available to consumers in Canada…almost 3 percent higher than the prices available at Costco.”
Learn how and why AARP lies to us about Medicare‘s Plan D. Instead of fighting for seniors, AARP throws us to the HMO wolves and builds power on our good names. In turn we are rewarded with the occasional hotel discount.
Frank takes you along as he attempts to negotiate the shoals of Medicare’s drug plan, both online and by phone. Hold your nose. It stinks every bit as bad as everyone says.
Here’s the latest on Plan D, including much that you never read before. Cuts right through all the disinformation out there to the truth.
A tale of woe. Complete with a compelling moral. Where Medicare becomes Medican’t, and when all forget The Rule, wailing and gnashing of teeth are heard throughout the land.
Who pays for the hurricanes? Here’s an idea! It costs nothing but a bit of “senior sacrifice” that actually saves us from the worst deal for Americans since The Great Depression.
Who saves? Who doesn’t? Here’s a look behind the gobbledygook at exactly what you can expect under the new Medicare drug bill. I, for one, will have nothing to do with it. I’ll lose way too much money.
I first wrote those words in 1968. Today we face the same challenge: A war we can’t win. Our government is blinded by imperial fantasy, corporate greed and neocon arrogance. Here’s a way out. Can we take it before thousands more die?
Big Pharma wants to give you free medicine! Proof that even corporate bullies like to be liked. Here’s where to call and what to do. Get into a patient assistance program. Before it’s too late!
Medicare’s new handbook forgets to mention the $2,850 “Donut Hole.” Congress forgets to be fair. And seniors everywhere are bending over to kiss their healthy asses goodbye.
Why is Washington scaring the hell out of us seniors proposing the plundering our nation's most reliable anti-poverty program and providing Wall Street with the spoils? One guess will do.
A short, cautionary tale about how to make millions playing the Washington Game to the detriment of seniors and our country. Tommy Thompson on the carpet.
In a bloodstained barrack I stood stunned. My fellow Americans had just shunned me, exiling me in this place where 1.6 million were exiled and killed by similar actions and thought.
Soon, Canada may prohibit its pharmacies from shipping to the US. But if you need affordable drugs, you'll still get them through your trusted Canadian pharmacist.
Like its predecessor, Medicare+Choice, the new Medicare Advantage program seems to outshine plain old Medicare just as Congress intended. Could it be another attempt to kill Medicare, putting seniors at the mercy of the profit-hungry HMOs?
A hard look at Jugglers for Jesus, police snipers, one woman’s wishes and her husband’s thankless, even dangerous task to fulfill them in the midst of spectacular hypocrisy and stunning sadness. Rest in peace, Terri.
Since 1990, while Terri Schiavo was trapped in a purgatory of the living dead, posturing politicians play God. The lesson: Sign a Living Will. Now!
Because it was over almost before it started, many now wonder what this war was really all about. Was this a case of "Wag the Dog?" And, why did Canada add the word "Great?"
Absolutely, positively, the last column I'll write on the new Medicare discount drug cards. Tells you everything you need to know and a whole lot more.
Frank's wife, Carolyn, just got canned. Why? Who knows? Her manager yelled, "Get your ass the hell out of here!" Read what it's like, what we can do about it when it happens.
Does our government think we turn into fools at age 65? Although there's little but confusion in this latest drug card trick, there are a few gems for low-income seniors.
All your letters and calls paid off yesterday when the administration announced that it is quitting the fight against affordable imported drugs. Three cheers! Now we must get S.2328 passed.
After walking 3,200 miles across the US on a one-woman crusade for campaign finance reform, this remarkable woman runs for the Senate. We should all have this much spunk.
A hard, provocative look at Big Pharma. How their abusive and immoral practices threaten us all. And how they're now blocking affordable drugs from Canada, then lying about it.
Shear genius! With the Bush Administration's steady hand on the helm, we have nothing to worry about. Still, I have these nagging doubts.
Finally, the truth about the much touted Medicare Discount Drug Cards. Could Congress even make a bill that more thoroughly screws seniors and further enriches drug companies and HMOs?
The Federal Drug Administration is at war with seniors. The USFDA is America's very own terrorist organization. Its lies on behalf of the thuggish and greedy drug companies are costing us billions. Costing us lives, too.
All about traitors -- both in Congress and at AARP -- and the final death rattle of an idea that could have saved countless thousands of senior lives and immeasurable suffering: physical, financial, and emotional.
Print and save this! Here's the scoop on saving big at drug companies' Patient Assistant Programs, the VA, discount cards, HMOs, generics, even Canadian pharmacies. Up to date as of Feb. 2004.
Most American men over 55 served in uniform. A look back on what it was like. And, an answer to the question: How can some vets be against this current war?
Here's "How to Start Something - 101" against the drug manufacturers and all the other big money that pay for your representatives to vote against your vital interests in Congress. It's easy. It's fun. It's courageous.
Here's the best plan yet to give the 10 million seniors who now must choose between food and medicine the Medicare plan they need to avoid sickness and early death. Come join us for a spirited march on Washington!
With 37 million members and a budget of $750 million, you'd think AARP would have the clout to get us an essential Medicare drug benefit. Trouble is, it never asks. Read why.
Talk about Medicare fraud! Congress and the President are pulling off the hoodwink of the century. It's a $890-billion swindle. And you and I are the victims. Read the sad facts, and how to act now to save your money and perhaps you life.
Just when our neediest brother and sister seniors find a place to buy more affordable drugs, the pharmaceutical industry threatens to cut them off, endangering the health of millions.
Wonder why your 2003 Social Security increase is so cheesy? Here's how Congress is screwing us seniors once again, this time by not measuring our Social Security inflation index by realistic senior expenses.
We seniors are under attack like never before. In their insatiable lust for profit, the pharmaceutical industry vultures have become so bold, so arrogant in their grab for riches, they now menace the fiscal and physical health of most seniors. Here's what to do.
This year, instead of forgotten diets and abandoned exercise programs, resolve to save the world.
Here's exactly how to save 40 percent or more - sometimes much more - on your prescription drugs. (I just saved $583.27 for three month's medicine!)
Congress lies when it says it wants to pass a Medicare drug benefit this year. Fortunately, drug companies now offer cheap, even free pharmaceuticals pretty much for the asking to those seniors who need them most.
Since senior citizens are about the only ones voting these days, who'll vote when we're gone? Frank suggests that seniors must save our democracy once again.
Here's how to make telemarketers the source of humor and joy in your life, while creating shock and awe in theirs. Plus a not so trivial way to make big bucks off them as well.
That compassionate softy in the White House is providing each of us senior taxpayers with a big $300 windfall. Read some thoughts on what to do with all that money.
Looking for a way to help the war effort? We geezers could win the war fast if President Bush would only follow this advice.
For those seniors wanting or needing to work, bagging groceries or asking, "Do you want fries with that?" often are the only career opportunities available. Here are five sites that help you get back to work for at least a living wage, often more.
If you're a senior, you grew up with the beginnings of TV. In 1960, FCC Chairman Newton Minow condemned the medium as a "vast wasteland." A nostalgic look at then and now. Is today any better?
Can you think of a better way to spend your retirement than as a patriotic revolutionary, saving democracy for the world?
Can you remember when a promise made was a promise kept? When politicians were actually listened to and believed? Frank does. And he reminds us of what we're missing today.
Soon, it'll come to bumper stickers reading "Seniors: The Other White Meat."
Some 49 million of us came of age just too late to be war heroes and just too early to be youthful free spirits. Is there hope for us yet?
Is this Uncle Sam's secret plan for getting rid of everyone over 65?
Don't just stop, give up, and fall into invisibility. Get involved. Help out. Be instrumental in change for the good.
Mention the senior market and even veteran admen and women conjure Mr. Whipple squeezing Charmin while Clara chortles "Where's the beef?" They haven't a clue that most of us are rich, free-spending active consumers.
Maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he said, "There are no second acts in American lives." But look at Cher, Tony Bennett, and The Supremes. John Glenn. The Volkswagen Beetle, for crying out loud. If they can do it, why can't I?

From the primeval rainforests and volcanoes to the ever-smiling, waving and helpful Ticos, Frank and Carolyn explore this Central American democracy and find it fascinating from Atlantic to Pacific. Inexpensive, too.

Today's China is the safest, friendliest, and most fascinating country you can visit this year. Frank and Carolyn just returned from what Frank calls their "Spoiled Rotten in China" tour.

Carolyn, Frank's wife and traveling companion to China last year, provides her impressions of this fast-changing nation, probably the friendliest, safest, and most interesting place you'll ever visit.
My wife, Carolyn, and I are three miles up, falling, tumbling, soaring through space at 174 feet per second ó 120 mph or "terminal velocity." Read why two old goats jumped from a perfectly good airplane last week.
Americans age 65 and up are jumping on the Web faster than a free Early Bird Special. What are they doing there? Two thousand Suddenly Senior readers confess. Read all about useful sites helpful to old pros and newbies alike.
Recently, Frank spent a day aboard a nuclear sub like the now-infamous Greeneville. Perhaps someone should have questioned the judgment of letting him dive and, later, allowing him at the helm when they quick-surfaced, just like the Greeneville.
There are consequences to senior couples who exercise together. Losing weight is not one of them.
The high point of my entire AARP week was when my wife leaned over and whispered, "Honey, look at that sea of gray and balding men in front of us. Makes you look darn good."
Rich, sweet foods you'd never dream of eating anywhere else, shipboard it's a matter of getting your money's worth.
All about how to reinvent yourself. Again. Maybe through a hot-air balloon flight. Retirement is about being what and who you want. Fresh starts without fear.


What started as a fluke is today read by over two-million seniors in 131 countries. How did this happen? A look inside Suddenly Senior.

Allow me to breeze over the death threats I received after publishing my Terri Schiavo column and the 1,255 cancellations prompted by my antiwar piece...

A look back on a year of government flimflam, Pharma shenanigans, and Congressional sleaze — all to the detriment of seniors — with some wonderfully bright and shining moments thrown in, making 2004 OK, even to the follically challenged among us.


Frank compares the '30s and '40s of his childhood with today and finds that we still have a lot to be thankful for, especially here in America. Check this out!


A look back with gratitude at a year when readership reached one million, when we giggled and laughed at ourselves and scared the hell out of Congress and AARP. Check this out!


What do we seniors have to be thankful for? If you don't know, check this out!

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.




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