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Letters, Feb. 21

Displaced tenants

After reading the article, “House illegally converted into 11 living spaces,” and the paragraph that states “at approximately 1:15 p.m. the occupants were ordered out, and the services were shut off,” upon realizing this all happened on the same day, I wonder if the city staff, including fire, police, building department and code enforcement, found other housing for the people living in this code-breaking house, before tossing them out in the cold?

Robin E. Sparks


Comments not anti-Semitic

Congressperson Ilhan Omar accused AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group, of using money to influence U.S. policies toward Israel and the Palestinians. In other words, she accused a lobby group of acting like a lobby group and she pointed out the corrupting influence of money in U.S. politics. For speaking this obvious truth, the leadership of the Democratic party claimed these comments were anti-Semitic and demanded that she apologize.

I have been the religious school director of three different Jewish congregations. I am now a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. And I wish to state very clearly that neither AIPAC nor the state of Israel have ever represented the American Jewish community and that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.

The local Democratic Party should tell the national Democratic leadership that they should be ashamed of themselves for their actions toward Democratic Congressperson Ilhan Omar.

Benjamin Ben-Baruch


Control drug costs

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently put out cost proposals to address the rising costs of prescription drugs.

HASL Center for Independent Living is an advocate for people with disabilities and seniors of Josephine and Jackson counties. We see the burden of high drug costs.

The government should find a way to control costs. These CMS proposals will not get to the root of the problem. They may limit health access for Medicare patients.

One CMS proposal is to base the cost of some important drugs on prices 14 other countries set. Those countries have lower drug costs for several reasons, one being that they don’t have the same access to the best and newest drugs like we do. Between 2011-2018, patients in the U.S. had access to 95 percent of cancer drugs on the market compared to patients in the U.K. and Greece who only had access to 74 percent and 8 percent respectively.

We need to lower drug costs along with maintaining access to life saving and life improving treatments. CMS should not make it an either-or proposition.

Contact U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden at: www.wyden.senate.gov/contact

Randy Samuelson, executive director

Grants Pass

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