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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

We're in a pickle

I need choices. With private health care I have a CEO and Wall Street between me and the doctor. National health care offers to put the government between me and the doctor. The former takes 20 percent of each insurance dollar for overhead costs of its private health insurance offerings and the latter comes in at 3 percent out of each insurance dollar presently for Medicare.

Sadly, our already weak economy will suffer more if private insurance companies take a hit from nationalized health care and their stocks plummet and hedge fund investors pull out of the big private health insurance providers because they can no longer deliver such a great return on investments. Causing more unemployment and more uninsured people. We're in a real pickle.

GENE THOMPSON

Eugene

The short answer

Weltzin B. Blix (letters, July 30) asks "What's wrong with this country?" Well, the list is too long to fit in a Mailbag letter but it can easily be summarized: The U.S. is under the complete dominion of the richest and the most selfish of its citizens who control everything that gets done by its three branches of federal government with a sophisticated system of bribery.

BOB D. SAXTON

Eugene

Do an Imax tour at Crater Lake

Regarding the proposed helicopter tours around Crater Lake: I'd like to add my voice to the side for keeping the natural beauty and silence of the lake. How about filming what a helicopter tour would look like in Imax and showing the film at the lodge?

LINDA HANCHETT

Veneta

Merger idea worth a look

I read the article about the possible merger of the Eugene and Springfield fire departments with interest. The two departments already work cooperatively and cross city boundaries to help with fires or backup. Now they are suggesting that merging departments could cut administration costs, which seems like a win-win for the region.

It set me to thinking about how the two cities are entwined in my family's history. My mother's family came out from South Dakota in the late 1920s. They lived and worked in Santa Clara, before moving to Springfield in the 1930s. I still have family members living and/or working in both cities.

I've attended both Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce greeters' meetings and know that businesses staff from both communities and serve both. Many people live in one city and work in the other.

The two cities are unique entities, but the need for public safety may be best served by merging the two fire/emergency services departments. Yesterday, I heard from a politician that one concern is that if the two departments joined there would be another taxing district to compete with existing taxing districts. Sounds like a reasonable concern, but if the cities were no longer responsible for paying for fire and emergency services, wouldn't the cities' funding needs be reduced?

Having the two departments suggest the merger indicates one hurdle has been crossed. Why not explore this suggestion and see what the benefits and costs really are? I think it's worth exploring.

ANNETTA FORRER

Eugene

Blue Dogs on the right track

Paul Krugman's July 28 column "Irrational opponents have the teeth to kill health care reform" lacked some important information. He accused the conservative Democrats (mainly members of the Blue Dog coalition) of being uncooperative and unsupportive of President Obama.

In his essay Krugman pointed out four pillars of this plan: regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition. However, what he overlooked in the health bill was of great concern to the Blue Dogs and that was the abortion coverage and the reduction of benefits to seniors and the disabled under Medicare. Blue Dog members of the House and the Senate found this reform plan unacceptable with these two coverages. I applaud the Blue Dogs for their opposition. Abortion cannot be classified as health care, nor should medical coverage for seniors and the disabled on Medicare be reduced. These two provisions must be removed from this proposed health care reform plan.

ED R. KRUPKA

Eugene

A service alternative

Christopher Dunn (letters, July 25) might find a different experience getting fuel for his vehicle by going to SeQuential Biofuels where attendants wearing uniforms run out to help you, engage in conversation, and wash your windshield. It's a 1950s era customer service experience, plus you'll be doing business with a locally owned company.

ELAINE TWIGG CORNETT

Eugene

Not enough geriatric providers

The concern expressed in Devon Trottier's letter on July 29 about the loss of access to on-site geriatric nurse practitioner services at a local residential care facility is understandable. Such on-site care by geriatric professionals is valuable. Unfortunately, it is rarely available in most facilities. The writer assumes the decision to reallocate nurse practitioner services was made primarily for financial reasons, but that is incorrect. The decision was based primarily on the limited and decreasing number of geriatric-trained health care providers in our area.

Given our limited number of geriatric health care professionals, it is imperative that we focus services where there is a higher level of acute care needs, such as vulnerable patients transferring from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities. Although the Gerontology Institute continues to recruit, the pool of geriatric medical professionals nationally is small and actually shrinking. This reflects an urgent national problem with our health care system, which is not adequately prepared to address the specialized needs of an aging population.

DAN REECE

Executive Director The Gerontology Institute, Sacred Heart Medical Center

Eugene

Training idea for police

We've heard much about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. by what appears to be a police officer who had a need to show his power.It seems to me that all police need to be trained to be a little more thick skinned, if that will end the problem and bring peace. I have a suggestion for such training. I believe all police in training and those on the job be required to watch episodes of the "Andy Griffith Show" from the 1960s. They should be instructed to focus on Sheriff Andy Taylor's way of handling a situation, not Deputy Barney Fife's way. Let me repeat: Andy's way - not Barney's way.

The idea is to defuse the situation, not exacerbate it. Andy's way , not Barney's way.

JEFF E. CUMMINS

Eugene

A vote for single payer

I want to add my voice for single payer health care. I would pay higher taxes for such a good cause. If we all pooled together, we could be paying less than we do now for those of us who are insured. We could rid ourselves of the waste that goes on now. I used to be employed with Kaiser Permanente. They focus on keeping people well, that's how they save money. It's a good business model, a good people model.

LISA THORPE

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Words:1150
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