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Having heard about the "train wreck" coming down the tracks, I was eager to see how much of a disaster the Affordable Care Act had inflicted upon me personally. So I browsed the plans that are available now at www.coveroregon.com.

For me and my spouse there are 46 different plans to choose from, with coverages and premiums to balance our costs, needs and priorities. Prior to the Affordable Care Act and the establishment of Oregon's Health Insurance Exchange, we had exactly zero health insurance options.

So it appears that the marketplace and competition for my business has vastly improved, in spite of the near-hysterical reactions of certain citizens, and even of our own representative in the U.S. House. Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we in Oregon have a robust, competitive market for health insurance provided by the private insurance sector. Previously, we had a monopolized market that was comparatively free to discriminate against and price-gouge insurance consumers. Why would anyone want to go back? — Paul Falletta, Grants Pass

The merchants rejection of a special downtown district is a win for the merchants and a well-deserved loss for Raymond and the Heart of Downtown.

We will not be lured to shop downtown by hanging plants or other beautification projects (though if it is really special we will drive by to admire it). What keeps us from downtown is the lack of free parking.

Why should we pay to go to a shop if we can go to a competitor for free at one of the shopping centers? Medford should look to Ashland and Grants Pass for solutions to bring more customers downtown, not to the outmoded idea of beautification. — Robert D. Mumby, Phoenix

In response to Alan Ludwick's attempt to make Obama out to be arrogant (Oct. 11), we have all heard more arrogant statements made by former presidents. A couple come to mind: "Tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev!", and "Mission Accomplished!

Since he was a constitutional law professor before becoming a senator, you think he stands against the Constitution and the law? We, the people, gave him the power of the presidency with our vote. I wish he used it more often. Instead he tries repeatedly to find common ground with those who despise him in Congress and would tear down the country to get to him. He works for us, they work for themselves.

Has Ludwick forgotten that the ACA was originally Romneycare, established in Massachussetts where Romney was governor? It appears to be working well there. It would have been national law anyway had Romney been president.

Yes, the winds of change are with us, for those who have the courage to face inevitable progress. We need that ACA. It will ultimately serve the people with tweaks along the way. It is, after all, a massive undertaking. Those who are against it fear change and the president who had the courage to bring it about. — M. Newby, Medford

In response to Mr. Schlapfer, it would hardly be considered "only musings" when a $500 million export market of GMO-free wheat was halted by our Pacific trading partners from contamination by Monsanto-Syngenta-DuPont genetically engineered products. Nor would be "musing" the reckless disregard exhibited in planting GMO seed crops in Jackson County, threatening the future of the specialty seed crop agricultural industry. Enough with the canceled seed contracts from GMO contamination or even potential contamination where GMO-free small family farmers bear all the risks.

A compelling and entirely more feasible case can be made that the brightest future for Jackson County's economy and a thriving agricultural sector is one that is GMO-free. — Michael Framson, Medford

Excuse me, but Congressman Walden was elected to Congress to uphold the Constitution, not subvert it. This issue is not about "Obamacare" (the Affordable Care Act, to be clear); it is about our constitutional process for passing laws.

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed into law by the president and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is called the system of checks and balances adopted by our founding fathers to ensure that no one branch of government becomes too powerful. If Congressman Waldendoesn't like a law he can try and have it repealed, but shutting down the government is not the way to do it. In my mind this minority of the House majority are subversives trying to destroy our Constitution. — Howard Johnson, Jacksonville