Letters to the editor for December 2, 2013

By Observer Upload December 02, 2013 08:37 am
Letters to the editor for December 2, 2013


Predator population needs to be brought back into balance

To The Editor:

I would like to thank Jim Ward for his “My Voice” piece in the Nov. 13 Observer. It is 100 percent correct. As a person who grew up in a state with a bounty on mountain lions due to overpopulation in the 1960s, I can share firsthand what happens when predator populations are not brought back into balance with other game animals.

I shot my first bounty mountain lion when I was 16. We used that money for food and school clothes, and we continued to do so until it was banned due to a very small group of vocal people who had to “save the mountain lion” even though the facts showed the lion population was still out of control.

In a few years after that, a young lady was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion while out for her morning jog along a highway outside of the town of Cool, the area where I had bounty hunted lions until banned.

The truth is here in Oregon the state does not want predators brought back into balance with nature or really have them controlled in any way. The bottom line is that even though the facts show that we have lost a large amount of our game animals due to increased predator populations, the state continues to nurse the predators along.

Why would you think people will continue to buy tags for game animals that are no longer there? The fact is that Oregon would rather have mountain lions, bears, wolves and coyotes than deer or elk.

The stupidity (yes, that is the correct word) of this is that it can all be brought back into balance with just a little common sense.

J.R. Kauffman

La Grande


What will universal health care mean for small businesses? 

To The Editor:

Small business owners, does ObamaCare have you concerned? Would you like to see a simpler system that would better protect your business and employees? 

Universal Health Care may be what you are looking for and below are some of those benefits as prepared by The Main Street Alliance of Oregon. 

• Remove business owners from the health care management business. Universal care relieves employers of all administrative responsibilities. Employers do not need to manage funds, determine benefits or pay providers. 

• Keep health care costs predictable. Universal publicly funded health care allows every individual and business owner to know their share of costs as a taxpayer. These costs do not change regardless of health, family size or employment status. 

• Keep employees, full- and part-time, healthy and productive. By removing deductibles and co-pays, universal care encourages employees to seek health care early. Employees stay healthier and more productive, reducing sick time costs. 

• Provide employees with competitive health care benefits. Keep productive employees from seeking better benefits at another company. Universal care means every employee gets the same comprehensive benefits regardless of employer. Entrepreneurs can start a new business and retain health care access for themselves, their families and new employees. Employers do not need to split full-time positions into multiple part-time positions to reduce health care costs. 

• Level the playing field for businesses large and small. All individuals and businesses will pay their fair share for providing universal health care. Oregon companies will have a strong competitive advantage over states with employer-based health care and will be better able to compete internationally with countries already providing universal care. 

Over the next several months, members of our Oregon Rural Action-Health Care for All Oregon team in affiliation with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon  will be contacting businesses to discuss the benefits and to ask you to consider signing on to support universal health care in Oregon. Businesses wanting more information can email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jim Kreider 

La Grande


Licensed to practice medicine?

To The Editor:

I usually don’t write letters to the newspaper, but I have an important issue about health insurance coverage that I would like to share.

In August 2013, I attended a very informative program presented by Beth Stewart, a local insurance broker, who clearly outlined the coming changes in Oregon’s health insurance coverage. 

Unfortunately, my issue with “essential” health insurance coverage will not be resolved by Cover Oregon. 

I realize that profitable businesses, including health insurance companies, must operate to increase assets and yearly revenue, but hopefully not do so at the expense of their customers’ or clients’ health and well being. Note I didn’t say patients’ health and well being. Health insurance companies, and also state-supported health insurance entities such as Oregon Health Plan, are not licensed to practice medicine in Oregon, are they?

My deepest concern involves health insurance companies and OHP refusing to follow doctors’ orders. How many times has your primary care physician, or a specialist, prescribed an essential and necessary specific drug or treatment, or requested a certain medical test or procedure, that was not covered by your health insurance company or OHP even though that treatment or medical test was considered normal and acceptable by the state-licensed medical community? Or perhaps your health insurance company’s underwriter/call center person, who is not a licensed physician, insisted on “re-prescribing” a different drug, medical procedure, treatment or medical device other than that originally prescribed by your own state-licensed doctor?  

Yes, health insurance clients have options: Don’t comply with your own doctor’s advice and instead agree to follow insurance company orders; don’t get any treatment or prescriptions at all; or pay out of pocket for the treatment or prescription originally prescribed by your own doctor.

I hate to think that health insurance companies bully their clients into not complying with doctors’ orders. 

If you don’t agree to the health insurance company’s “re-prescription” you may lose specific coverage or protection, or be unable to receive continuing needed medical treatment.

Linda Granger

La Grande