Health care for all

Affordable health care for all Americans can be achieved. The simple answer to “repeal and replace Obamacare” is to provide Medicare for everyone.

Economically, a healthy workforce is vital for all businesses and corporations, so they have a vested interest in seeing their workers' health needs met. Business and public entities will save billions when they no longer have to pay for their employees’ health insurance.

Morally, it is wrong for HMOs, pharmaceutical companies and others to profit from illness. Those profits can instead be directed toward better and broader health care for those who need it most. While executives at these companies make astronomical salaries, many hardworking Americans are bankrupted by medical bills.

Politically, overwhelming majorities of Americans favor health care for all. Enacting a single payer health care system would deliver on President Trump’s promise to help American workers.

Uninsured Americans often get their health care at an emergency room with the high cost subsidized by everyone who pays for their care. A single payer health care plan for every American, modeled on Medicare, with incentives for healthy living and preventive care, would lower the cost of medical care we all pay for, one way or another.

Tim Cate

Ashland

Don't lose music festival

We live in Bend and we’ve attended the Southern Oregon Music Festival for several years. News about Medford potentially losing the festival is disheartening, and we also wonder what such a loss might mean for Medford’s tourist economy.

Like hundreds who come to Medford for the festival, we’re devoted fans and admirers of the event and the community which supports it; and like the others, we stay for its duration — three/four days and nights, while using Medford’s lodging, meals, shopping, fuel and other opportunities during our stay. That’s an influx of tourist dollars that will be difficult to replace.

The SOMF is a jewel on the festival circuit. We attend festivals throughout Oregon, Washington and California and we believe that the SOMF consistently brings to Medford the greatest breadth and depth of musical talent found at any festival. The bands, facilities, hospitality and the volunteers are always first-rate.

We urge all who attend the festival, each of the businesses that benefit from that attendance, and those in the Medford arts and music education community to join with us in helping to provide the SOMF with whatever financial support is within your means. Medford deserves to keep this festival.

Barb and Jack McCown

Bend

Socialism already here

Oscar Zuniga's letter in the Jan. 28 edition claims that a right to medical care is socialism and the U.S. is not a socialist country. The latter point is debatable, along with that concerning the downsides of capitalism as practiced in America.

Socialist policies can be and have been adopted and accepted without being enshrined in the Constitution. Examples include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, progressive income taxation, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps), FEMA, federally subsidized flood insurance, and a plethora of other tax-supported government programs benefiting society as a whole.

America has been increasingly socialist for almost a century and few find that disagreeable ... at least as long as it's not stigmatized by calling it "socialism."

Ted Gibbs

Ashland

Stop antibiotic overuse

Overuse of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing threat to public health. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is being created that our bodies have no method of combating. Seventy percent of antibiotics are not used by humans, but instead are sold to factory farms where they are utilized for the prevention of disease in livestock and farm animals. If this continues, we could be faced with a massive health crisis.

OSPIRG is sponsoring state Senate Bill 920, which makes it illegal to use antibiotics on animals unless they are clearly sick. If we don’t act on this growing crisis soon, millions of more people could become sick from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Please, lend your support to this cause so that this bill can be passed.

John Pascale

Ashland