Letters to the Editor: Sept. 2, 2016

Health costs too high

Why is it that Canada (and every other industrial nation) can provide first class health care to its citizens at half the cost we spend in the good ol’ USA?

I believe, plain and simple, that the public has been hoodwinked and manipulated for years by the people making enormous profits. The cost for an anti-cancer cream that I’ve used for a number of years went from $50 to $1,750. (The cash price is more than $2,300.) And that is through my health insurance.

I have lived and worked in Germany, France and Israel. Their health care was national, first rate and very affordable for all their citizens.

I got a call from my pharmacist with her apologies. She was embarrassed about the increase of the cost of my medication. Let’s not embarrass or denigrate ourselves any longer. It’s time to admit the fact that health care in the good ol’ USA is too important to be continuously manipulated and duped into believing that we can’t do the right thing.

Rob Schulman



Go meatless to class

With the new school year starting, parents’ to-do lists are now filled with shopping for school clothes, school supplies and school food.

In past years, our nation’s schools were used as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. It is neither a surprise nor coincidence that one-third of our children have become overweight or obese. Such dietary mistakes at an early age become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Then came President Barack Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, requiring double the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and no meat for breakfast. The guidelines are supported by most Americans.

Most U.S. school districts now offer vegetarian options. More than 120 schools, including the entire school districts of Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, and San Diego have implemented Meatless Monday. Some schools have dropped meat from their menu entirely.

As parents, we need to involve our own children and school cafeteria managers in promoting healthy, plant-based foods in our own schools.

Going online and searching for “vegetarian options in schools” provides lots of good resources.

Melvin Nysser



Trail project hurts farmers

County officials estimate the proposed Yamhelas Westsider Trail Project would cost $3 million or more initially and $740,000 or more annually to maintain while benefitting very few people.

They estimate only 25 to 35 uses per day. They rely heavily on grants just to meet daily expenses and have no business spending on a non-essential project.

The intrusion into farmland would affect farmers negatively with crime, squatters, potential injury suits and additional regulations on their operations. Few letters of support come from the private sector, invalidating claims of economic value for all. The planning has not been transparent.

Private property needs to stay on the tax rolls.

Tom Hammer



Who benefits here?

County Commissioner Stan Primozich is promoting the Yamhelas Trail by getting the Oregon Department of Transportation to fund bridges and culverts. Primovich says this will help agriculture and food processing.

Can you explain how stealing a half acre of my deeded land is going to help agriculture?

Roy Bowerman



Arm or disarm?

While I agree with Tom Hastings’ Aug. 26 disarmament article from a common-sense point of view, I have significant questions about the wisdom of “disarmament” in a world which appears to be very intent on destruction and mayhem. I was raised during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. In elementary school, we kids had drills to prepare us for a nuclear attack. It was absurd. A full nuclear exchange and subsequent nuclear winter isn’t likely to leave many survivors.

My first assignment in the military at age 17 was at a Strategic Air Command. We were on alert status all the time.I learned about mutually assured destruction. If our offensive weaponry and defensive posture is so formidable, then no one would dare attack us. I guess it worked. No one attacked us.

Today is a different world. We see people willing to commit suicide. We see terrorists using common technology. Consider what those terrorists could do with tactical nuclear weapons.

We are seeing new discussions on Capitol Hill to upgrade our aged nuclear capability and delivery systems at an estimated cost of $1 trillion. Other nations are upgrading their nuclear capabilities. We need to do the same. Our existing nuclear capability and delivery systems are very old. I don’t know what the answer is to this insanity. While disarmament makes sense, fighting seems to be our basic nature.

Carl Aplin



Clinton manipulates media

The punchline of last week’s News-Register cartoon was that the Internet is 100-percent unreliable. Maybe that hyperbole was just good old-fashioned advertising for newspapers, TV and radio.

Regardless, I’m sure Hillary Clinton would approve. Clinton and her campaign are having a terrible time on the Internet.

After Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon became the Trump campaign’s CEO Aug. 17, conservative Internet sources reported that Clinton’s Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds stated, “It goes without saying that we have to beat these people. But I want to beat them so decisively that their kind never rises again.”

Thanks, Christina, Breitbart is now on my favorites list.

The HLN cable network primetime TV show “Dr. Drew On Call” was abruptly cancelled Aug. 25. Coincidence or not, according to Google Trends Twitter account, the top-trending question Friday regarding Hillary Clinton was: “What did Dr. Drew say about Hillary?”

Ben Garrison has a new cartoon online featuring Hillary in bed with longtime aide Huma Abedin. Hillary is terrorized by alt-right bogeymen led by Vladimir Putin, seen coming through the open window riding a bear. Moonlight shines a large capital T on the top cover, presumably for Trump. The caption reads: “Hillary’s recent alt-right speech smacked of deceit, delusion and desperation. The three Ds.”

Clinton and the globalists are losing their ability to brainwash the public. People are gravitating toward truth tellers and away from mainstream news, political correctness and social justice warriors.

Your silly speech didn’t work, Hillary. It only made you appear demented. I guess that makes four Ds.

Dan Katz



Don Dix

Rob Schulman -- Your proposal is counter to the lifestyle of our 'representatives' in government. How can you expect elected officials to live such a lavish life if they cannot rely on 'contributions' (basically bribes) from all the big players, not only in healthcare, but all other big money interests as well. Hillary isn't the only politician that provides the 'pay to play' agenda to the donors, she's just has a longer, more blatant career than most.


Rob Schulman / Unfortunately we are culture where everything is a commodity including our health. We elect rich folks. 50% of Congress are millionaires. A median American household net worth is $68,868.00. The median Congressional House member net worth is $896,00 and the median Senate member net worth is $2.7 million. The rich folks do not face the kinds of issues you do. Why we elect the rich? They have rich friends who help pay to convince us to vote for them. You saw what happened to the politician who suggested that health care should not be a profit based commodity. He excited some younger folks, but the 'socialist' label is a heavy burden in our culture.


Congressional House member median net worth $896,000. Sorry dropped the important zero. Cutting their pay as some suggest wouldn't bother most of them.


Rob's first statement caught my attention, "Why is it that Canada (and every other industrial nation) can provide first class health care to its citizens at half the cost we spend in the good ol’ USA?"

Firstly, most of them have taxes that are considerably greater than in the U.S. Secondly, much of the populations of these other countries have lifestyles/eating habits much better (think obesity) than in the U.S.

The healthcare in the U.S. is the best in the world and that is what our citizens want. There are people around the world that come to the U.S. for healthcare that is not available in a timely fashion in these "other industrial nations". Healthcare, like any other business, is profit oriented. Without the profit motive the U.S. would be just another country with long waiting times for medical assistance. I have heard Canadians (and other European countries) say too many times that they would die before getting lifesaving procedures that are more readily available in the U.S.


I doubt citizens that can't afford deductibles or co-pay requirements think the healthcare in the US is the best in the world.......yes our healthcare system is great, but only for those that can afford it....


tagup, would it be better if those people actually paid for their own healthcare instead of others who pay for their own and have to also pay for all of the other people? Should the "others" pay for the food, housing and about everything else for these people? Just asking? Only about 50 percent of our population pays federal income tax, are you suggesting that these subsidized people should pay greater taxes so they don't have to pay a co-pay or at least some of the deductible? Or would you suggest that obese people get penalized for healthcare? Or, would you suggest that people who smoke have to pay higher co-pays when their healthcare is subsidized? I am interested how you think our healthcare should be more affordable for people who don't pay their own way?


I'll limit my comments to healthcare.....the profit motive and limited competition in the marketplace make the cost of healthcare in the US unaffordable for most. To make quality healthcare available to all requires a single payer system. I know everyone will scream " socialism" but that is the only feisable answer to allow equal access for all. The profit motive and concern for the shareholders investment is presently more important that the health and wellbeing of the general population. This fact is proven by the current cost of diagnostic procedures and perscription prices and the rate of cost increases for all services compared to other countries. Like social security, my opinion is that health care should be available to all......I guess it depends on a persons concern for their fellow man, and what kind of world you want to live in


Tom Hammer's facts appear to be a little inflated/deflated regarding the trail project. First, I find it really hard to believe the trail will cost $740,000/yr to maintain, once built. Second, 25-35 users per day is also hard to believe. I run the Banks-to-Vernonia trail all the time and 100's of people use that trail - all through the year. I see the same amounts using this trail. The trail will be a great addition to our county. I look forward to it's completion.


Tagup, so the entire population of the U.S. would be run similarly to Medicare and the Veterans Administration which I believe are considered "single payer" systems? How is that working?


As with any program the funding determines to some extent, the quality.


"Tagup, so the entire population of the U.S. would be run similarly to Medicare and the Veterans Administration which I believe are considered "single payer" systems? How is that working?"

Medicare is actually working amazingly well and is the one part of our healthcare system where we don't embarrass ourselves compared to the rest of the world. If you compare Medicare taxes to the premiums that employers and employees pay to private insurance companies, we get a lot more bang for the buck from Medicare. The whole complicated Obamacare free market mess could have been avoided if, at a fraction of the cost, Medicare had been extended as a safety-net single-payer insurance to those uninsured who are unable to get health insurance through their employer. But because the Democrats wanted to curry favor with "conservatives", the original Republican Romneycare plan was adopted instead. The results are obvious for all to see.


Great topic. I think that "tagup" is looking for a system that is free of co-pay and deductible requirements and is the same quality of healthcare now available. It would be nice, but probably not possible. Not sure we could get the services we have (and demand) now if providers were forced in some way to accept less. "By statute, Medicare may only pay for items and services that are "reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member".

"No part of Medicare pays for all of a beneficiary's covered medical costs and many costs and services are not covered at all. The program contains premiums, deductibles and coinsurance, which the covered individual must pay out-of-pocket. A study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2008 found the Fee-for-Service Medicare benefit package was less generous than either the typical large employer Preferred provider organization plan or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Standard Option." (Wikipedia)


Well, at least we have the biggest/most expensive military in the world. So we got that going for us....


This sounds like a new topic, but I agree it is somewhat related. The harsh reality is that in our American society we can't afford everything that our diverse group of people want/demand. Everything can't be "free" for everyone.



Well, at least we have the biggest/most expensive military in the world. So we got that going for us...."

Not really, I believe China's is bigger....


China may have more manpower but in 2015 the US spent 597 billion vs China's 215 billion......point being there is plenty of funding if/when we decide that the wellbeing of our own population is more important than developing more and better ways to kill off the rest of the world.


Should we spend more than the combination of China and Russia? Or about the same as Russia? Or, about the same as China? What realistic level do you think is appropriate? Would you think we should not have a military force?


How do you compare the cost of a soldier that gets paid $10 a month to one that gets paid $1100 a month. China has conscripts, the U.S. does not. China puts a gun to someone's head and gets a missile they pay $1000 for while in the US we pay $1,000,000 for the missile.
Cost comparisons is somewhat ridiculous.


I understand what you are saying, but the comparison & calculation of China's cost is hardly the point.....What is ridiculous is spending $597 billion on the military and having domestic infrastructure falling apart and citizens unable to afford medical care.


tagup, I agree that the $number is very high. It is difficult to tell what the number should be. Remember also that a great amount of the number is returned in tax collection to the federal government and the U.S.economy.

The real problem is that we as a society demand more than we can afford (and that in itself is debatable) and is why we have over a $17 trillion debt. Your thing might be military spending, but there are those who want more spending for education, transportation, medical expenses, free housing etc. or "all of the above". We have the largest (and growing) segment of our society depending on government handouts. Is it good to be developing/promoting this dependency or should we as a society become more self-reliant?


Perhaps if this country could pry itself loose from the Middle East and stop subsidizing barbarians whose mission is to destroy it, we might be able to address our tragic domestic issues. These wars are the result of blatant egotism. Our people are dying for nothing. Arab men revere the past and insist on living in it forever. Five hundred people shot in Chicago last year, the Veterans Administration stalling our "hero" patients until they conveniently die waiting, homelessness, horrible health care, those with the means travel to India or Mexico for extensive procedures prohibitive here. Shouldn't we at least begin correcting inequities in our own backyard before we futilely attempt to liberate tribal sociopaths?

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