LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

We all need insurance

One of the many fallacies that I have heard pronounced in the current tempest over The Affordable Health Care Act is, "I don't need health insurance." This generally comes from a young, healthy person who does not anticipate a large current claim.

I am a retired physician and, as such, I can assure you that is not true. You have a small chance of major or catastrophic illness, true, but the chance is not zero. How many time I have seen a young person involved in a motorcycle accident or a sudden illness suddenly ruined financially and emotionally without insurance. One of the main things that the act does is to set standards for adequate insurance so that this does not happen.

My son's wife a few years back had a baby with a congenital problem of which no one had ever heard. Fortunately, he has good health insurance and has been able to adequately meet the financial needs associated with a special needs child. You young and healthy people never know when you will need health insurance.

Insurance spreads major risks over many people. Suck it up and do it! — Joel Tobias, Medford


No time to think

Maybe the Medford School District teachers just haven't had enough time to think about the school district's offer of an 8 percent salary increase. Maybe after this three-day weekend and their two-week break next month they will decide it's a deal the private sector can only dream about. — Elaine Wheeler, Central Point


Obamacare worked for us

My husband and I signed up for new health insurance this week and it only took us 11 minutes combined!

For families like ours who aren't requesting financial aid, the process is now super easy. Our new plan is great and costs half the price.

A few months ago when I applied via "the old way" it took me all weekend and then I was denied because of a mild food allergy (yes, I cried). This time we used CoverOregon.com to research the plans, then decided on a new nonprofit company. We were then redirected to their website where we signed up. This time there were no tears, just a high-five!

The Mail Tribune has devoted a lot of ink to the troubles of "Obamacare" that affect only a minority of people. The other side of the story is equally important, so thank you for allowing me to share mine. — Michelle Blum Atkinson, Medford


There we go again

Thank you Ms. Isaak (Nov. 3, "Who's offended").

Once again we're approaching the season we are forbidden to call by name or celebrate anywhere but in the dark privacy of our own homes. Christmas. It's now called "winter holiday".

When did the radical minority become the voice that rules our society? Because one atheist wants his/her non-beliefs to be the rule of the land we all must suffer. No longer are children allowed the joy and fun of celebrating the Christmas holiday in school with songs and trees and decorations. This country is over 200 years old and we have always celebrated Christmas. But no longer. Because one hypothetical non-believer just might get their feelings hurt or, heaven forbid, be offended by someone else's joy and happiness, we can no longer wish someone "Merry Christmas."

The retailers still practice the age-old tradition of getting the very last dime out of parents and others, but not with a "Merry Christmas." We were in Europe last Christmas and in countries with more ethnic diversity than the U.S. Everyone said "Merry Christmas," and Christmas trees were everywhere. Don't want to celebrate? Have Congress abolish the holiday and everyone can go back to work. — P. Moran, Medford


A wake-up call

The recent shooting at LAX Airport should be a real wake-up call for those who live in the Rogue Valley. Who do you believe will provide the best security for you and your family at our local airport, a continuously-trained and working police officer or a low-bid cheaper-paid security guard? Is the cost savings worth your safety and the safety of your family? You get what you pay for. — Robert McKean, Phoenix


The other rules

Isn't it interesting that when "Christians" need to justify their hatred of certain people, they always ignore the teachings of Jesus and turn to the Old Testament, usually Leviticus?

Perhaps they haven't noticed, or choose not to notice, the other rules in Leviticus. For instance, if you spot somebody wearing a cotton-poly shirt, he must be stoned to death. And marriage is between one man and as many wives and concubines as he can support. And if the CEO of an agriculture corporation refuses to let one quarter of his land lie fallow, he must be stoned to death. And every spring we all must kill our most valuable animal, and burn it up, for the smell is pleasing to the Lord. And, of course, every 50 years the rich must give all their stuff to the poor in the Jubilee year. And do people who believe that the Old Testament is absolutely true, keep a kosher kitchen? — Peter Nemzek, Ashland


United, or divided?

This Thursday starts a new era in Shady Cove. With thanks to Ron Holthusen and Bill Kyle, the reins of government will be turned over to Tom Anderson's administration including new Councilor Tom Sanderson. This council will ultimately be measured by its vision for the community, along with its courage in providing dedicated and consistent purpose.

While mistakes have been made in the past, the question now facing it is, will this new council and its relationship with the community be consumed by the ashes of past failures, or invigorated by the fires of optimism inherent in rebirth? Recently the council was presented a list of goals by the Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce, along with those of individual citizens. Many of these issues were highlighted as Mayor Anderson presented his vision for the future; the underlying question is, will this be the beginnings of a partnership dedicated to a united future?

The Bible's wisdom, "a house divided against itself cannot stand" is as relevant today as it was centuries ago. As the council faces many serious issues, its path forward will not be easy. The question before us is, will we be a community united, or a house divided? — Jim Ulrich, councilor, Shady Cove


Abandoning local control

Why would any elected official pugnaciously assert a "right" by governmental edict to ingest marijuana from local dispensaries? Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) has prognosticated just that over the strenuous declinations of Medford's City Council.

The city rightfully has inserted tougher safeguards in its code. However, the political representative is enunciating a constitutional distinction between state and local control, holding that the higher trumps the lower. However, Councilman Corcoran has recently said if that's so, then "federal trumps state." Thenceforth, since the city will honor the feds, Buckley from his sandbox has retorted with Senate Bill 863, pre-empting city or county control!

The challenge for the state seems to be distribution safeguards which presently are not in place. But no matter, Buckley and the state will come to the rescue and save us from puffing too little so that we can all get high constitutionally. Instead of thoughtfully solving issues like tax, PERS and land-use reform, some elected officials foist their will and predilections on an unsuspecting public. Will we now abandon local control? Isn't Salem great? — Joel R. Marks, Medford


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