Letters to the editor for January 28, 2013

By Observer Upload January 29, 2013 08:53 am



Make voices heard on climate change

To the Editor:

I was heartened and encouraged to read the recent letter to the editor concerning climate change written by Teresa Brain. 

I fervently agree with everything she said. As I have said repeatedly, both in this paper and other venues, I believe it is the most pressing issue of our day. If we don’t solve this problem in a timely fashion, all the other issues that plague us won’t matter if there is no livable place on the planet left. 

Even if some of us are reaching the end-of-life times, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care since we won’t be around to experience this dire consequence; at least I hope it’s not happening that fast. It is a very thoughtless and uncaring attitude because we need to think of future generations and what kind of earth we are leaving for them to inhabit.

I am glad to see there is more mention of it now on various news programs, and it feels like our politicians are talking about it more and seem to be getting the idea of it’s importance. But the real impetus needs to come from we the people. The more our leaders recognize that getting back into office depends on how they respond to what the people demand, the sooner something will get done. 

So I would encourage those of you that care about what is happening to our planet to make yourselves be heard through letters to the editor, letters to your senators, congresspeople, the president, on social networks, through your churches, in conversations, in short, in every way you can think of to get the word out. I can’t think of a more important thing that we can do as thoughtful, caring citizens of this country and the world.

Mary Helen Garoutte

La Grande





Oregon could lead nation in health care

To the Editor:

Everybody in, nobody out. Every other industrialized country but the United States has some form of universal health care. No country uses profit-making, investor-owned insurance corporations like we do to provide health care for its people. It’s wasteful and inefficient. Insurance costs will continue to go up and people in our nation will continue to go without care until we create a single-payer health care system that puts people above profit.

Oregonians have a history of leading the nation. Let’s create our state system of health care that has everybody in, nobody out. It’s time to join the movement to create a state health care system. Go to http://oregonrural.org/our-work/health-care-reform/ to educate yourself about this important issue. Then join other concerned Oregonians in Salem Feb. 4 at a rally on the capitol steps to make your voice heard.

Mary Rose Nichols





Who handles health care dollars?

To the Editor:

I read with interest the Guest Editorial in the Jan. 23 edition of The Observer in support of the Independent Payment Advisory Board within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care). 

I particularly agreed that “with lawmakers seemingly unable to resist the pressure from the health care industry” a 15-member panel from various health-care disciplines is appropriate.

Our problem, however, is not insufficient funds, but who handles our health care dollars.

Right now the U.S. private health insurance industry captures $850 billion health care dollars annually.

Of that, at least $350 billion is lost to administration and outrageous CEO salaries before the remaining funds are paid into the health care system.

Three-hundred fifty billion dollars is more than Americans spend on obesity and tobacco-related diseases combined. It’s seven times what we spend on health care for all immigrants, documented or otherwise. 

It is more money than the U.S. spends on all drugs and medications. And it’s more money than we need to extend comprehensive health care to every one of us. Obama Care will not provide health coverage for everyone. We need Medicare for all.

We need to take health care dollars away from insurance companies, not from our neighbors.

Cheryl K. Simpson-Whitaker

La Grande