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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Rights favored over responsibilities

Congratulations to University of Oregon student David Zahn for his thoughtful July 21 commentary on our law's failure to recognize a duty to rescue - a reflection, I might add, of a society that often favors individual rights over community responsibility.

Each and every year we debate this issue in my law school classes. Zahn should join us; the legal profession needs him!

MICHAEL ROOKE-LEY

Eugene

If you don't like it, don't use it

Maybe the following idea will help solve the argument over government-run health care.

The Republicans are against government-run health care because of political philosophy. The simple solution is that anyone who is against government-run health care should return the cards they requested for Medicare, veterans' care and Tricare for retired military.

It makes no sense for someone who is against government-run health care to participate in government-run health care. No one made them do that.

In fact, it is their choice; they had to request to use Medicare, veterans' care and Tricare government-run health care. All of those who are against government-run health care need do is refuse to use it. They can go on the "free" market and get whatever health care they want.

As President Obama has said continuously, you can choose any insurance you want under the Democratic health care plan. Problem solved.

JIM DENTON

Coos Bay

Good insurance but bad attitude

Obviously, Stephen M. Roberts (letters July 20) and his wife enjoy what is known in the trade as a "Cadillac health plan." He regrettably exhibits the attitude all too common among well-to-do retirees: "I got mine, so too bad if you didn't. You'd be too expensive to provide for anyway."

Thank goodness self-centered people such as him don't represent the majority in our country. Unfortunately, it is his type of elitist that too often makes government and corporate policies. I would argue that he and his wife, who may be very nice people, are no more worthy of their health care coverage than is any homeless person on the street.

ROBERT H. WALTERS

Waldport

The Bible favors justice

Doyle Srader's letter of July 18 deserves a response. He implies that the Bible supports empathy as being the same as justice. The Bible also says that, "God is no respecter of persons."

Justice is the equal application of law, as near as is humanly possible. Hence, justice is always compassionate, but compassion is not always just. The O.J. Simpson verdict was viewed by those dancing in the streets as compassionate, but justice was not present. When judges issue verdicts based first on their "feelings" rather than law, inequality rears its head and justice is further diluted.

Affirmative action, college speech codes, hate crimes laws, the desire to censor talk radio, all based on inequality, are ragged little razors that rip at the seams on the underbelly of society. We daily witness the unraveling of the greatest system of government ever designed by the hand of man.

In today's America, it's easier to feel than to think - so we continue slouching down to the secular Gehenna.

JEFF BURTON

Eugene

State taking over health insurance

Claire Williams, in a letter July 20, asked, "If you are presently insured by private insurance, will you be willing to give it up and take the health plan offered by the government?"

In response to this challenge, which I take as a criticism of the idea of publicly funded health care plans, I want to point out that the state of Oregon already is in the process of implementing such a plan for all state employees.

Beginning in six months, all health care benefits will be, for the first time, state insured and based on a nonprofit business model, with nonprofit Providence Health Plans administering the plan, but not providing insurance itself. The Oregon Public Employee Benefit Board decided this for the good of the employees, driven by the very high renewal bid by Regence BlueCross/Blue Shield.

The Regence bid was for a 16.4 percent increase, a difference of approximately $50 million. By self-insuring the statewide medical plan, PEBB assumes risk for losses.

Regence made $119 million over the past six years assuming risk. This is a potential savings to PEBB members. As a result, about 5 percent of current members would have to change providers, but this is still a good overall deal.

So to answer Williams - yes, many people are willing and are doing it. Please support the federal government's attempt to follow Oregon in this regard, and to extend the nonprofit model to all U.S. citizens.

MICHAEL RAYMER

Eugene

Pain drugs being challenged

If you are suffering from pain in some part of your body, especially a joint or from dental work, your doctor or dentist is very likely to give you a prescription for hydrocodone to help ease the pain. It is frequently prescribed here in the United States, and also in other countries. It has several trade names, the most common of which is Vicodin.

Recently, a federal advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that Vicodin (hydrocodone) and its close relative, Percocet (oxycodone), be banned because of the possible damage to the liver caused by one of the ingredients, acetaminophen, most commonly known as Tylenol (New York Times, July 1). The FDA is considering but has not yet acted on this recommendation. Hydrocodone, oxycodone and the like are highly addictive. These morphia derivatives often block the lower intestinal tract, causing severe constipation that may require hospitalization.

As the chairman of the federal panel noted, experts have been warning of the dangers of Vicodin and Percocet for years. If you are prescribed hydrocodone or oxycodone, be sure to ask your doctor or dentist about the possible side effects of these widely given but dangerous narcotics.

JUDY FORELL

Eugene

Don't pave LCC's outdoor study area

"The wood's in troubleaa" as poet A.E. Housman wrote in 1896.

This week on a visit to Lane Community College, I was shocked to discover extensive destruction of native southern Willamette Valley plant and animal habitat at the campus' south boundary. I subsequently learned that this ecologically rich native prairie and forest is being leveled for new parking lots. Habitat destruction on the scale I noted demands public notice, careful scientific consideration, lengthy discussion and most certainly an Environmental Impact Statement.

I know the area well; I taught biology and ecology at LCC for 30 years. Field botanists, biologists and ecologists at Lane long have recognized this as one of the most naturally diverse locations for outdoor study in our area. An extensive list of rare wildflowers has been compiled. The total richness of the ecosystem includes native oaks, conifers, shrubs, ferns, mosses, liverworts, algae and fungi, lichens and animals: mammals, amphibians, insects and birds.

The area is especially important for birds. In my spring forays with students, we frequently encountered active nests in locations now denuded.

Converting this to a sterile expanse of paving is unthinkable. LCC has one of the finest science departments in our area and is fortunate to be located in a region of high natural biodiversity that can be used in numerous instructional ways.

I implore college administrators to abandon the present reckless plan for placing the automobile ahead of our natural world and ahead of opportunities for high-quality outdoor studies for LCC's students.

RHODA M. LOVE

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 24, 2009
Words:1237
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