Greg Walden's Affordable Care Act
I don't normally write Letters to the Editors about specific legislation, but it's important for people of Congressman Greg Walden's district to know that the proposed revision of the ACA (Obamacare) will significantly reduce coverage, particularly for poorer people in eastern Oregon.
Worse yet, from my perspective, it will give a huge tax break to the wealthiest 1 percent of the Nation's citizens. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation analysis, the proposed bill would deliver roughly $157 billion over the coming decade to those with incomes of $1 million or more, according to a congressional analysis. And folks making $200,000 to $999,999 a year would also get sizable tax cuts. Between the two groups we would see taxes cut by $274 billion dollars.
To put that into perspective, the entire state budget for Oregon in 2015 was $33 billion.
That Greg Walden supports such inequality is disturbing, to say the least. I hope Rep. Walden starts to think about the less fortunate people in Oregon rather than giving tax breaks to most of Donald Trump's billionaire cabinet members.
— George Wuerthner
Open letter to Walden
Dear Representative Walden,
I am forced to write to you this way as you've never acknowledged receipt of my letters. When I call, your staff doesn't answer. The time I was able to leave a message, your office never responded.
Obamacare has extremely serious flaws. Conceptually, repeal and replace is the way to go. Disappointingly, your bill fails to fix the problems. The greatest hindrance is blatant partisanship which overshadows the REAL needs of Main Street America: a good healthcare system.
Obamacare wasn't healthcare reform, but insurance reform. It failed its two primary goals: not providing access for all to healthcare, and not bringing down costs of healthcare.
You stated your bill will "provide the people with what they've asked for: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility ..." Your bill fails at that, as did Obamacare. You said subsidies and Medicaid "... is not sustainable." Of course not. But you refuse to address what will bring those costs down. Saying and doing are two different things.
Former Senator Baucus' white paper on healthcare, written before Obamacare, stands today as what's wrong with America's healthcare system. Exorbitant costs keep many Americans from access to healthcare. This is Obamacare's major failure. Your bill fails, too.
The greatest roadblock to affordable healthcare is the insurance industry, which has driven administrative costs to be about half the total cost of healthcare in this nation. It's a paperwork nightmare. No country in the world is even within an order of magnitude of that.
Insurance is NOT healthcare but creates roadblocks to the working poor of our nation. It keeps many from having access to healthcare. That's where Obamacare failed. The Health Insurance Marketplace is an unaccountable bureaucracy impeding America's working poor. I wrote you a substantive letter explaining what happened to me—it took half a year to fix, even with a senator's help—and other serious problems I found while struggling to straighten it out. That also needs fixing.
Let the American People have the healthcare that one would expect from a country that calls itself the greatest country on earth.
— Rick Meis
The Obamacare mess needs help, and to say the majority of Americans support it is just not true. We desperately need cross state competition, policy choice and major hospital, surgical and drug cost reduction. The greed needs to be throttled back. The status quo is financially unsustainable. All wants cannot be met. The sooner the reality check sinks in, the sooner we can start restructuring Obamacare into something that works for all Americans, not just the few who simply desire free healthcare at super high costs.
— Geoffrey Hance, via bendsource.com
Seems the GOP is terrified of the Hannity, FOX News, Drudge Report et al inspired hate they are getting from their own people. Suffice to say the Dems are hopping mad as well, but it is the Tea Party nutters and their flat earth tone deafness that puts the fear of God into them. No wonder they don't want to appear in public.
Oh, and no, none of the folks ranting are "paid protesters" these are genuinely misinformed, inflamed, electorate. Go do your job, and deal with them.
— Bend Local, via bendsource.com
I'd like to see the state find better, more ecologically sound ways to generate a little cash from Elliott State Forest. Why is this issue usually presented as Either/Or (to make a different Elliott reference)?
Let's go for Both/And. Retain state ownership of the forest, and task supporters of that effort with (for free) finding creative, useful ways to allow some small amount of commercial activity on the land to generate revenue. For example, set aside 25 acres for an eco-tourism resort or a sustainability-focused co-housing farm, and find a private partner to make some money at that.
-tiffysquid, via bendsource.com
Hello Bend Community,
My name is Nicole Fontana and I'm a local artist. Like other full time artists, my work is both my pride and passion as well as the means through which I provide for my young family. Unfortunately, on February 19, my woodburning of an owl, pictured here, was stolen from The Bite of Tumalo. I'm writing this letter in hopes that we, as a community of friends and artists, might prevent future theft via awareness that this issue currently exists here in our small community.
If you have any information about this incident, please reach out to our non emergency police at (541) 693-6911 and reference case number 17-065848 or contact me directly through www.fontanapainting.com. Otherwise please just keep an extra eye out and let's hope this was an isolated incident! Thank you!
— Nicole Fontana
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Nicole: Sorry to hear that. Adding insult to injury to your entire profession, The National Endowment for the Arts is among the items #45 is proposing cutting right now—so I figured a free coffee on us is the least we could do to show our support for local artists and their work. As if artists don't have a hard enough time making it...
Come on in for your gift card to Palate!