#FutureOfAmerica #FutureOfUS #MyPersonalFuture #StressAboutFuture
More than two-thirds of Americans are stressed about the future of the country.
So says the American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” survey.
Isaac Stanley-Becker discussed the survey in a Washington Post article, also published Oct. 31, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Though the article focuses on politics, let’s step back and discuss stress in one’s own life, and how to combat it.
First, we have to know what makes us stressful. Certainly, it can be the political environment, but the country has survived – and thrived – despite any politician.
More likely, though, we have things in our own lives stressing us, and we use politics as a blame outlet.
One stressor could be a job. Some people are overworked, underpaid and have no time to enjoy what really matters to them.
Others worry that a good situation that they have at work – no matter how much they might complain about it – could disappear tomorrow.
Still others are stressed by family or other personal circumstances.
Generally, stress doesn’t get rid of itself. Either the stressor goes away, and is replaced by something better or more pleasant, or the person finds a way to relieve the stress.
For many, when one stressor goes, another steps in. That’s why people can’t depend on good fortune to strip them from stressors, although, if it comes, good fortune is usually appreciated.
Usually, some type of action is required to remove stress, or at least minimize it.
What kind of action? It might be to look for a better situation. Good fortune comes to those who prepare for it, so by looking for a better situation, you are preparing to find it.
Family or personal situations are a bit more delicate. You can’t erase your family. But there may be situations that you can remove yourself from. Then, you have to keep from being sucked back into such vortexes.
If you believe your job is threatened, or if you have a job that is eating you alive, there could be a simpler way of removing that stress.
Look at how you spend your non-work time. Family and recreation can be important stress relievers, but you might consider spending a few, part-time hours a week pursuing a completely different goal.
There are many vehicles out there that can enable a person to supplement, even replace, an income by spending a few part-time hours a week. Though they don’t involve a “second job,” there is work involved. But the rewards can be life-changing for the person who really needs to remove stress from his or her life.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As for the future of America, there is a lot more good out there than bad. Though the bad stuff gets more publicity, and rightfully so, the good things often go unnoticed, at least by a wide audience.
One way to ease any stress about America’s future may be to go look for those good things. Take a walk in the woods, observe the beauty, and see what destination finds you. You may find that walking back to your originating point is completely unappealing.
As you make your journey, take care not to overlook what could be good for your life.


#PrescriptionDrugPrices #DrugPrices #PrescriptionPrices
Stephanie Garman picked up her prescription at CVS one day.
This time, she took a look at the receipt.
Retail price: $355.99
Her amount due: $3.47
In other words, she paid a1 percent co-pay for her relatively expensive drug.
David Lazarus took on this subject in an article for the Los Angeles Times. It was also published Oct. 8, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Someone is obviously benefiting from this, but I don’t know who,” Lazarus quotes Garman.
Garman obviously had good insurance. “The purpose of insurance is to protect patients from the full cost of medical care at the point they need it,” Lazarus quotes Patricia M. Danzon, a professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “An insured patient never faces full price,” Danzon is quoted as saying.
Lazarus also quotes Amy Davidoff, a senior research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health, calling drug pricing “a black-box negotiation process” between drug makers, insurers, and middlemen – called pharmacy benefit managers – who haggle behind closed doors over how money changes hands.
Patients who have good insurance can purchase drugs blissfully ignorant of how much drugs cost. Patients without insurance get billed the full rate. If they can’t afford the medication, drug makers often have programs for such people to get their medications at costs they can afford.
We won’t get into the complications of pricing drugs, other than to say that drug makers want to get back the cost of developing the drug, which can take years or even decades, and the cost of getting the necessary regulatory approval, marketing the drug to prescribers etc. – as well as make a profit.
They will hire the benefit managers to negotiate the prices with various prescriber networks, and to supply those networks.
Not everyone is charged the same price. It can depend on volume, which network you are in etc.
Bear in mind, too, that largely happens only in the United States. Other countries with single-payer health systems tell the drug makers what THEY will pay for medications.
Since drug makers make their largest profit in the U.S., they don’t want this system to go away. They know that those who really need their drugs will do whatever they must to get them, even if it means going broke.
This is a tough problem to solve. We want to keep the drug makers actively doing research to find new therapies for various diseases. We want to make drugs as affordable as possible. At the same time, we want to make health insurance as affordable as possible.
One thing the average person can do: look for different ways to make money so that if a big illness requiring expensive treatment hits you or your family, the cost will be less painful. There are several vehicles out there for putting a good bit of extra money in the pockets of those willing to explore them. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, we need to continue to look for ways for people to get well without having to liquidate their retirement savings, sell their homes or sell valuable family heirlooms at pennies on the dollar, just to pay medical bills.
With all the ingenuity we have in the U.S., someone certainly can find a way to do that, whi8le satisfying all concerned.