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May 19th, 2009
10:50 AM ET

Cut your prescription drug costs

From CNN Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis

Whether you're insured or not, the cost of prescription drugs is a serious problem. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, it was found that nearly 30 percent of adults say they hadn't filled a prescription because of the cost and about a quarter of people polled had split pills in two or skipped doses to make the medicine last longer. But there are ways that you can slash your prices. Some stores have discount pharmacy services.

For example, Kmart pharmacies have a 90 day generics program for $15, available anywhere in the country where there's a Kmart pharmacy.

Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's pharmacies often have competitive prices and membership is not required to use the pharmacy services.

And don't forget that the internet is a great tool for comparing prices.

Compare RX costs

  • One word of caution here: beware of fly-by-night sites, where your risk of getting counterfeit or tainted drugs rises. Look for sites that carry the "VIPPS" seal – it stands for verified internet pharmacy practice site -and is awarded by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.


    Filed under: Economy • Gerri Willis • Health
    May 19th, 2009
    10:07 AM ET

    Report: Biblical passages quoted in secret Bush war memos

    [cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Robert Draper broke the story about intelligence reports for the June 26th issue of GQ magazine."]

    In the days after the attacks of September 11th, then-President George W. Bush raised eyebrows when he referred to the war on terror as a “crusade.” Today we are getting our first look at some top-secret briefings on the Iraq War.

    According to GQ magazine, these classified documents included biblical passages on the cover pages. It claims former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld delivered them by hand to the White House each morning.

    Robert Draper is a correspondent for GQ. He broke this story about the intelligence reports for the June 26th issue of GQ, which is on newsstands next week. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday.

    Kiran Chetry: How were you able to get your hands on these classified documents?

    Robert Draper: I can't tell you, but they were provided to me by a government official who did not have a specific bone to pick with Secretary Rumsfeld, wasn't a disgruntled employee, wasn’t marginalized by him or anything like that.

    Chetry: These were given to just a select group of people and some in your reporting were quite surprised and troubled by the biblical passages on the cover sheets. These were top-secret documents known as the “Worldwide Intelligence Update.” You have some of them in the magazine:

    On April 1, 2003 – From Proverbs: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.”

    On April 8, 2003 – From Isaiah: “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” This phrase is accompanied by pictures of tanks rolling into Baghdad.

    On April 10, 2003 – From Psalms: “Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him.”

    Chetry: You say they were often delivered by Rumsfeld himself. How were they received by the president and those around him?

    Draper: We don't know. The president would receive them every morning. Secretary Rumsfeld would see them at a 7:30am briefing. He would then bring them over to the Oval Office. Difficult to say how the president reacted, but given the context as you've described it… what had happened after 9/11 with the president referring to the war against terror as a crusade, it was a sensitive manner, a number of people within the Pentagon were quite concerned if something like this leaked out in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq or thereafter that it would be received quite poorly in the Muslim and Arab world.


    Filed under: Donald Rumsfeld
    May 19th, 2009
    10:00 AM ET
    May 19th, 2009
    09:51 AM ET

    Mayor: Put American workers first

    [cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Mayor Virg Bernero says the U.S. needs to do more to save the domestic auto industry."]

    With GM and Chrysler closing dealerships across the country, thousands of autoworkers face an uncertain future. Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Michigan is in Washington speaking out about the personal impact of the auto industry's troubles.

    This comes as the Obama administration unveils today the first-ever national fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Mayor Bernero spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday.

    Kiran Chetry: You're in Washington trying to spread awareness about the impact that this failed U.S. auto industry situation is having on Americans and towns across America. General Motors has until the end of this month to decide whether it will file for bankruptcy. Some experts say it's inevitable. What type of impact will we see in cities and towns across the country if another automaker is forced to file for bankruptcy?

    Virg Bernero: We're here with mayors and workers and dealers from around the country not just to whine and complain but to talk about the impact of this industry across the country. It is major. It’s millions of jobs across the country. It’s more than Detroit. It’s more than Lansing. It’s more than Michigan. But it is millions of jobs. The supply chain across the country, and of course the suppliers are already teetering on the edge. And a bankruptcy for GM could threaten the supply chain for the entire domestic auto industry. Look, we're calling it a teach-in. But the reality is the American people already know what we're here to teach Congress and the administration, which is the importance of this administration and the fact is the best stimulus is a stimulating job.

    We need to have American production stimulated. We need a “cash for clunkers” bill that stimulates people to buy American vehicles. It doesn’t make any sense to stimulate people to give them money to buy foreign cars. We need American workers to be put first. We need the American industry to be put first. So we call it a teach-in, but as I say the American public knows the score. We need to put American workers first. And so far what we've seen… when we look at other countries, we see other countries like France, when they helped their auto industry… Renault had to bring jobs back to France. And here we are subsidizing our industry, which we're for, we’re all for supporting our industry, but the industry needs to support American jobs…


    Filed under: Economy
    May 19th, 2009
    06:23 AM ET

    Banned from Harvard

    [cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Some students want the Reserve Officers Training Corps to be recognized at Harvard, forty years after it was banished from campus."]
    From CNN's Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

    A small group of dedicated Harvard undergraduates could be America's future leaders; not in its boardrooms or briefing rooms, but on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan.

    For the moment, these young military cadets are fighting a different kind of battle. They want the Reserve Officers Training Corps, or ROTC, to be recognized at Harvard, forty years after it was banished from campus. One thing standing in their way: the U.S. military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on homosexuals.

    In April, 1969, student demonstrators set fire to an ROTC classroom and campus sentiment against the Vietnam War led to the Harvard faculty's banning the organization. Forty years later, the ROTC is still banished from Harvard.

    Today, neither Vietnam nor the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan keep the ROTC off limits at Harvard. According to the University's student handbook, the military's policy on gays " inconsistent with Harvard's values as stated in its policy on discrimination."

    The 29 Harvard students enrolled in the ROTC must take their training courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their ROTC courses do not give them academic credit and they are not given financial aid to cover them.

    Joe Kristol, a graduating senior and marine cadet, says it's time for Harvard to change.

    "I think that what we're looking for is the college to separate the issues and be able to recognize and support ROTC on the one hand; on the other hand do whatever they want to protest policies they may not agree with, but not to punish the students and use them as their tool to make that political statement."

    Kristol and three other cadets - Roxanne Bras, Shawna Sinnott and Christi Morrissey - say the policy is not in line with how most Harvard students feel about the ROTC.

    Sinnott says most students actually do favor bringing ROTC back to campus. "I think a lot of that does have to do with the presence we've had on campus even though there's less than 30 of us, we're still able to provide that bridge between military and academia."

    "For a lot of people you're sort of a novelty," she adds.

    But not all students want the ROTC to return without a change in the military's policy on gays. Marco Chan, one of the co-chairs of the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies, acknowledges that the cadets are inconvenienced by the university's ban.

    At least, he says, they have the choice to serve in the military. "What's not often covered is the fact that queer students don’t have that choice at all. There’s not a choice of oh, I guess I'll be inconvenienced and participate in this program. They simply can't."

    Filed under: Education • Gay Rights • Military
    May 19th, 2009
    06:14 AM ET

    What’s on Tap – Tuesday May 19, 2009

    Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

    • Breaking news. A New York City hospital says a 16 month-old-boy died there late last night with flu-like symptoms. The CDC is coming in to determine if the baby had swine flu. People in masks were packing the waiting room there yesterday.  We're live outside the hospital.
    • President Obama today announcing a national standard for car emissions – a tough new assault on greenhouse gasses. The administration is expected to require new cars or trucks be 30% "cleaner" and more fuel efficient by 2016. The CNN Money Team is breaking down what that means for your next buy and for the struggling auto industry's bottom line.
    • CIA Director Leon Panetta says he's confident Pakistan has a "pretty secure" nuclear arsenal, even though the U.S. doesn't know the exact location of all its warheads. It's something U.S. Intel is watching closely with Pakistan at war with the Taliban.
    • Donald Rumsfeld revealed.  Accusations that he botched everything from the battle for hearts and minds – to the response to Katrina.  GQ Magazine says it’s obtained top-secret Iraq war documents that contain biblical passages on the cover sheets.  How much damage did the former defense chief really do to his boss's legacy?  We'll talk to the reporter who broke this story.
    • Saying goodbye to the Hubble telescope – for good.  Astronauts on Space Shuttle Atlantis will gently toss it back into earth’s orbit this morning, after five successful spacewalks to repair it.  Human hands will never touch it again.  NASA hopes the repairs will allow Hubble to keep exploring the universe until it's replaced in 2014.
    • Hoping for another strong sign that the economy has "bottomed out."  Monthly data on new home construction is due out before the start of trading today.  The CNN  Money Team will be here to break down the numbers at 8:30 eastern.

    Filed under: What's On Tap