A health care wolf

A petition to collect voter signatures for a ballot measure that promises to cut a 1.5 percent tax on health insurance premiums is in fact a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If passed into law, it would lead to devastating cuts of federal funds to our state.

An analysis by the Oregon Center for Public Policy finds that over the next two years, for every $1 the state invests in the Oregon Health Plan, the state receives about $3 in matching federal funds. That amounts to $11.2 billion federal dollars that go to fund health care for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians.

More than 600,000 children, seniors and people with disabilities get care though the OHP. A large loss of federal funding would force the OHP to kick people off of health care or drastically slash services. Federal money for Oregon health care services helps fund well-paying middle-class health care jobs at our local hospitals and clinics. Any large funding cuts would have terrible consequences for our economy.

Please don’t sign that petition.

If it gathers enough signatures to be put on a special election ballot in January, please don’t vote for it.

Donna Breedlove

Medford

The reality of climate change

While the U.S. is understandably focused on the destruction by Harvey in Houston and across the Southeast, weather disasters (many attributable in part to climate change) are occurring across the world.

Just a partial tally: 100,000 homeless from flooding in Nigeria, severe drought in many parts of the Mideast (which significantly contribute to regional conflicts), 1,200 dead and millions affected by flooding across Southeast Asia.

Here in the west of the U.S. and Canada we are experiencing extreme levels of forest fires and consequent smoke pollution at an unprecedented level, as Gary Nelson recently pointed out.

All these disasters result from or are exacerbated by climate change. It is time for climate change deniers, including our president, to get on board to deal with the harsh and growing reality that all of us are facing.

Instead, the denier in chief is undermining the role of science in U.S. environmental policy and our ability to mitigate climate change in numerous ways: abolishing scientific advisory boards, reversing science-based regulations, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, purging dozens of scientists from advisory positions.

President Trump needs to face up to the reality of climate change and show real leadership.

Robert John Scheelen

Medford

Which side do you chose?

I am a child of Holocaust survivors and a grandchild of Holocaust victims. I am also a first-generation American born to proud citizens who cherished and fought for their beloved adopted country.

As such, I am particularly sickened by the announcement rescinding DACA. Although I recognize this act for what it is — a desperate attempt to distract attention from the ongoing Russia investigation and the plundering of America by a heartless kleptocrat all while pandering to his base — it is also a moral test for every single one of us.

We have reached a moral crossroad in this country. The fight for freedom and justice begins with each of us. Silence is as much of a choice as action. Which side of history do you choose?

Leslie Meier

Jacksonville