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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

It is imperative that the public option be included in the national health reform bill. Without the public option, there will be no reform.

For too long, the American public has been at the mercy of greedy health insurance companies whose only concern is profit. It is time that we put the needs of our people first. If we can give a trillion dollars in bailout money to the already-rich, we can surely afford to provide health care for our people. — Susan Conley, Grants Pass

The town meeting with Sen. Ron Wyden in Medford was an assault on the spirit. Those opposed to health-care insurance reform had all of the tickets used to ask questions with the exception of the last speaker, who was for reform.

Bizarre as this was, the worst of this meeting was the self-only interest of the opponents, their lack of reason or being informed and their use of their time, primarily to deliver diatribes of negative accusations. Their rude behavior of speaking out of turn, booing and noising down what they didn't like was matched only by their disregard for the idea that an American community of people can, together, find a way to care for one another, the fortunate and not so fortunate. — Kathleen Meagher, Ashland

Let's have more fact-finding and less arguing over our health-care system. When people disagree or agree without knowing all the facts we have chaos!

Most of us know our health-care system needs immediate attention. Our hospital emergency rooms are taking care of people without insurance. People who do not think that an overall health-care reform is needed should stop and take a look at any emergency waiting room.

Change seems to be uncomfortable for most folks, but change is needed. The U.S. is rated very low in the world of health-care systems. Don't forget that the insurance companies already tell us what we can and cannot do for treatments of certain illness and procedures, as well as prescriptions, based upon what they will pay for!

Health insurance costs are again going up in double digits! Let us find a common ground which means some give and take on both sides and think about the common good for all. — Phillip Mason, Medford

Why do I support a public option for health care?

I've been harboring a homeless family for four years. Although they can't pay money for rent, I allow them to work off living with me.

Recently, their young daughter (20s) suffered a tooth abscess. Her cheek looked like the mumps. She was in so much pain, she was crying. I had no other choice but to take her to the Ashland ER.

With preventative care she would never have had the abscess and perhaps, at such a young age, lose a tooth. We will actually save money by not neglecting health problems, either prevent them or take care of them while they are small. — Ruth Wire, Ashland