Letters to the editor for May 13, 2013

By Observer Upload May 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Letters to the editor for May 13, 2013

Help end cycle
of child abuse, neglect

To the Editor:

In Oregon, an approximate 13,000 children per year spend at least one day in foster care due to child abuse and neglect.

According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated average lifetime costs for each neglected or abused child is $210,012. Consider these numbers: one quarter of those who stay in foster care for at least a year will have a lasting or recurring health problem. Of youth who age out of foster care without a permanent home, one in five will become homeless within the first several years of leaving foster care, one in four will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and all will be less likely to complete high school and college. 

Spring, the season of new beginnings, is the perfect time to reflect on how we each can contribute to the solution of this community problem. The Citizen Review Board, Oregon’s Foster Care Review Board, held its annual conference May 3 and 4 to kick off National Foster Care Month.

The CRB is a program of the Oregon Judicial Department, which establishes local boards in counties throughout the state and is tasked with reviewing cases of children in foster care. We are community volunteers appointed by the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. We provide a citizen voice into how services are delivered and permanency decisions are made.

Currently, 67 boards in Oregon review confidential case plans, hear from attorneys, caseworkers, parents, foster parents and foster children about how the case is progressing, and make recommendations to the juvenile court judge on how to achieve permanency for each child.

While the circumstances that lead to foster care vary, all foster children share a common thread: a trusted parent has let them down. It’s up to us as a community to fill that void by serving as foster parents, mentors and supporting community services that help end the cycle of abuse and neglect. For those who have a special interest in learning more about the foster care system, who want to be part of a community that is making a difference and who want to have their voice heard, consider service on the Citizen Review Board. 

For more information, contact the CRB at 1-800-551-8510 or
503-986-4535. Our website is courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OSCA/cpsd/citizenreview/index.page?

Rebecca Regello

Citizen Review Board field manager

Union and Wallowa counties

No on HB 2922, universal health care in Oregon

To the Editor:

What the proponents of “Universal Health Care” are not telling you:

It’s another socialist agenda that we don’t want and shouldn’t have to afford.

Ask your doctor what he thinks about this. Mine thinks it’s a disaster.

On Monday, Democrats will hold a hearing on legislation to create universal health care for anyone living in Oregon. Please contact House Democrats and tell them this is a bad idea for Oregon.

The details:

HB 2922 would create the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan, which provides universal health care to all individuals residing or working in Oregon. 

The bill does not require U.S. citizenship.

A person and the immediate family members of a person are eligible to enroll in the plan if the person (a) resides in this state; or (b) is employed in this state.

Doctors and hospitals must accept payment from the plan as payment in full, regardless of actual cost. 

The cost and required tax increase of the plan is unknown.

The board would fund the plan through several dedicated progressive taxes, which would include a payroll tax and increase in personal income taxes, etc. More taxes means fewer jobs. Can Oregon afford that?

The bill is sponsored by 24 Democrats with chief sponsors being Reps. Dembrow and Willamson and Sen. Shields. Sponsors are Reps. Gallegos, Bailey, Barker, Barnhart, Buckley, Frederick, Garrett, Gomberg, Gorsek, Greenlick, Harker, Holvey, Hoyle, Keny-Guyer, Nathanson, Reardon, Tomei,Vega Pederson and Witt and Sens. Dingfelder and Monroe.

Monday’s hearing will be in the House Committee on Health Care at 1 p.m. Please call these representatives and let them know we don’t want this. This is not good for working families, doctors or our health care system.

Chris Barreto