Letters to the editor for May 17, 2013

By Observer Upload May 17, 2013 12:05 pm
Letters to the editor for May 17, 2013

Health care is not socialist agenda

To the Editor:

In a recent letter, the statement that Universal Health Care is “a socialist agenda that we don’t want and shouldn’t have to afford” indicates a fear that we will pay more than we are currently paying and that extending health care to all will undermine our American economic system. 

I would say it is something we should “have to afford.”  We afford our police/fire departments and our schools. Do we talk about them as socialism? These services are provided to everyone and we share in the costs. The fact that governmental services exist does not make us a socialist state.  

It is true that the cost/savings of the universal plan now in front of the Oregon Legislature (HB 2922) is unknown. But there are estimates. To provide due diligence of the true costs and savings of a universal health care system, I believe the Legislature has the responsibility to conduct an independent study. House Bill 3260 authorizes the Oregon Health Authority to conduct such a study and report findings in a year (recommendations within two years.) This is the reasonable approach.  

I believe that with cost shifts and tax shifts, the small businesses in Union County currently providing health insurance for their employees will learn, that the costs of universal health care will mean more profits for them and less for insurance companies. Not to mention, a healthier labor force and community.

C. Fuji Kreider

La Grande

Vote for Maille
for school board

To the Editor:

I am Robin’s husband of 24 years, and I would like to explain why I think she is the right choice for the La Grande School District School Board.

Robin has “service” in her blood. Her father was a captain in the Coast Guard. Her grandfather and her uncle on her mother’s side both graduated from West Point and served in the Army. Her parents are active in community organizations, and her father is the treasurer for their church. Robin served in the Peace Corps. She was the president of the Parent Teacher Organization at our oldest son’s elementary school, and was a soccer coach for several years. 

After I landed a job in
La Grande five years ago, Robin dove back in. She currently serves on the Community Landscape and Forestry Commission, with the Master Gardener program, and most recently, she volunteered for the vacated school board
slot.

Experience is also important. To help make ends meet, Robin began to substitute teach in Grant County, West Virginia. Within a year, she secured a position as a science teacher in the hard-scrabble rural community of Mount Storm, and began working toward her teaching degree. 

She obtained a teaching license after we moved to Oregon, and she reentered teaching as a substitute teacher La Grande. She now works as an OSU Extension instructor. This job takes her into classrooms throughout Union and Baker counties to deliver sessions on healthy eating and nutrition. 

And then we have our own two boys, one a recent graduate of La Grande High School and the other currently at the middle school — I see no substitute for this experience.

Finally, Robin has a common-sense pragmatic approach to decision-making, and she is not afraid to speak her mind. For the past eight months, Robin has worked hard with Larry Glaze and the board members to apply policies thoughtfully. In these times of tight budgets and shifting requirements, she does not apply ideological principles beyond what her experience tells her will work and is good for the students.

Peter Maille

La Grande