Letters, Jan. 28
Town hall or pep rally?
As I was leaving Greg Walden’s Medford town hall last Friday, I heard one of his supporters say, “Why do all those liberals show up? Don’t they know this is a Republican town hall?”
In the parking lot, someone else said (just before getting into a truck with a “MAGA” bumper sticker), “Why do all those Democrats hiss when Greg talks about all the good stuff he’s doing?” The organizers banned hand-held signs, including the green “agree” and red “disagreee” signs (each the size of a bumper sticker) some of us would have held up to respectfully let the congressman know how we felt about his statements, leaving us no way to express disagreement than to boo or hiss.
So, why do liberals show up? It’s because we care about the future of our country and our planet, and we assumed that a Congressman would want to know about the opinions, needs and desires of all his constituents. If that assumption is incorrect, then the event should have been called a Republican pep rally, not a town hall.
Why does 45 have such animus toward immigrants, considering that his family certainly has had their share?
His paternal grandfather was an immigrant from Germany (he initially claimed they were Swedish), his mother was an immigrant, and two of his three wives were/are immigrants as well as his current in-laws — of course they were/are all Caucasian rather then Latin, Asian, black or brown and he claims he’s not a racist! It appears to me that he obviously has a double standard (if he has any standards); “my dear, thou dost protest too much!”
Step therapy is dangerous
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently chose to allow step therapy for Medicare Advantage Plans. Step therapy forces physicians to follow insurance company’s pre-selected cost-saving treatment plans. Patients can only move on to more effective drugs if the first drug fails.
Annually, 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness. Treatment is complex and can differ extremely between patients with the same diagnosis.
Patients in mental health crisis don’t have the luxury to “fail first”; suicide is America’s 10th leading cause of death. Adults with mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than the country’s average, due largely to treatable conditions.
Step therapy will have a direct impact on the community served by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Oregon. NAMI has served Jackson and Josephine Counties for 30 years, providing support, education and advocacy to individuals affected by mental illness. Therefore, we must voice our concern for — and opposition to — this practice of “fail first.”
Mental health doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Placing limitations on physicians results in suffering — and possible fatal outcomes. This is not acceptable.
Please contact Oregon Congress members about this issue. (Google: “contact Oregon congressional delegation”)
Visit NAMI's website.
Meesha Blair, NAMI of Southern Oregon