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Franny Grippen is not trying to make a statement about health care in general by climbing aboard the RX express. She just wants to save a little bit of money on four prescription drugs that simply cost too much in the United States.

Franny, 84, has been in Portland for four years. She lived most of her life in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she worked for 40 years at the Domino Sugar Company and was a member of the International Longshoremen's Association.

Her husband died when her children were 7 and 8, and Franny raised them alone.
When they grew up, they moved around, and four years ago, at her son's urging, she moved to Portland to be near him.

Franny remembers having no health coverage when she was a single mother raising her children. "You paid out of your own pocket," she says. That may be unimaginable to today's young families, but she got by.

When Franny came to Portland, she joined Kaiser Permanente. She has no gripes about coverage in general, but she finds the cost of prescription drugs too high. She needs medication for high blood pressure and anxiety, and hopes to purchase some at affordable rates in Canada.