Letters to the editor for May 6, 2013

By Observer Upload May 07, 2013 07:52 am
Letters to the editor for May 6, 2013

‘Follow the money’ to diagnose health care 

To the Editor:

Access to health care is critical to all of us, and there is a bill in the Oregon Legislature (HB2922 “The Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan”) that needs everyone’s support.

With the cost of health care sitting at about 17 percent of our gross national product and rising, one can only wonder why that amount of money would not cover everyone. Other industrialized countries are able to cover their people for about 10 percent of their GNP. Why this difference?

After reflecting on this question and working in the medical field as a public health administrator my entire adult life, I have discovered that there is no incentive in the private health insurance industry to reduce costs. Health insurance companies make their money based on the size of the pie. And when you add to that the demands of Wall Street with their expectations of quarterly profits for shareholders and corporate executives’ compensation, the push for more premium dollars to feed Wall Street often comes from reducing services, raising deductibles, “cherry picking” covered lives, etc. 

The health insurance industry has become a giant “money pump” for Wall Street. This pump is sucking away almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy. That pie is so huge that it is hard for us to wrap our heads around it. It has so distorted the idea of having one risk pool to which we all share and contribute that it can no longer be recognized.

Your support is needed to help the Oregon Legislature pass the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan, which will allow a single-payer option like Medicare or Medicaid. You can expect that your legislators will be heavily lobbied to oppose this bill, but I would just remind you to “follow the money.”

David B. Still

La Grande

Smith’s letter was right on target

To the Editor:

An excellent letter appeared in the Observer on May 1 by Nicholas Smith titled “Defenders of Constitution win gun control battle.” He makes it very clear that this is only one victory. More battles are sure to follow.

The anti-gun crowd in Washington, D.C., includes President Obama and the super-brilliant Vice President Joe Biden, Diane Feinstein, Schumer and Manchin. I would like to toss Nancy Pelosi and a host of others into the mix that seem to have a hatred for the Constitution. Our own senators, Merkley and Wyden, should be voted out of office because of their vote to let the U.N. override our Constitution and especially the Second Amendment. Fortunately it was defeated but by few votes.

Lose the Second Amendment and the rest of the Constitution will also go down in flames. Our enemies, both domestic and foreign, are determined to tear our national sovereignty apart, piece by piece. We need to wake up and get the idiots out of office who have forgotten their oath to defend this country against all enemies. 

We need to wake up to the reality that the anti-gun crowd is serious and will not be satisfied until all weapons are registered and, eventually, confiscated. 

Smith also comments that he is “old and tired” and we need for you younger folks to get in the fight. I am also getting up in years and must say that I agree with his sentiment for others to step up to the plate. Your future and that of your children and grandchildren’ are at stake so don’t let them down. 

It is your and my responsibility to do what we can to stem the forces of evil that are bent on dragging our nation into a so-called perfect socialist society.

Stormy Burns