Letters to the editor

WWII health care 'system'

Our employment-based health care "system" began as a means to attract workers during World War II when labor was short, wages were frozen, and benefits were untaxed. It worked while unemployment and mobility were low, large corporations were the main employers, and medical care was low-tech and cheap. None of this remains true.

Of some 45 million uninsured Americans, 25 percent are children and 22 percent are low-income adults with children. Perhaps 25 percent are "irresponsible unpoor" who can afford insurance but prefer self-indulgence, so undeserving of help. Individuals between jobs and part-time workers (some with multiple jobs) tend to be uninsured. Retirees see coverage reduced just when they need it most. Private insurance is expensive partly because states mandate often-bizarre coverage. Only companies can deduct health insurance costs.

One proposal is a government "single-payer" system. Where implemented, the historical record suggests that the inevitable results are price controls, resistance to innovation, inadequate investment, delayed care, bribes to "jump" queues and an underground system for the wealthy.

Another proposal would extend tax deductions for health insurance premiums to individuals, permit buying insurance nationwide and remove restrictions on plans, giving companies incentives to develop innovative approaches and freeing consumers to escape policies with mandated coverage irrelevant to the risks they face. The result would be better care, more efficient control of costs and more choice for consumers. Some will elect HSAs, some first dollar coverage policies, some policies that suspend premiums during unemployment or end at but provide coverage through retirement.

David Churchman

Lion's Club says 'thank you'

The Ashland Lion's Club would like to thank all of those who helped to make our traditional Fourth of July barbecue in Lithia Park a great success.

First of all, thank you to all of you who came and enjoyed our "world famous" barbequed chicken. Next we would like to thank all of the local businesses that helped by selling tickets, handing out discount coupons or making donations: Allison's; Ashland Chamber of Commerce; Ashland Hardware; Ashland Lumber; Ashland Motors; Food 4 Less; Hot Stuff Espresso; Medford Chamber of Commerce; Medford Medical Clinic; Paddington Station; Rogue Valley International Airport; Rogue Valley Medical Center; Starbucks; and Town and Country Chevrolet.

We would also like to thank Ashland's Troop 112 of the Boy Scouts of America for transporting and setting up all of the tables and chairs. Finally, thanks to all of those who volunteered to help with the many tasks involved in serving over 800 chicken dinners, especially our family members and friends. Thanks also to the following organizations: Big Al's, Safeway, Pucks, the Liquor Store, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Chamber of Commerce and the Talent Truck Stop.

John Whitesitt,


Ashland Lion's Club

Right thing for gays, lesbians

Among the Democratic-led state Legislature's many accomplishments is the granting of civil rights to our gay and

lesbian community. They are also U.S. citizens.

I think there is a misunderstanding about "marriage."

The union has two parts: the legal or civil part and sanctification by a religious institution. Couples joined in a civil ceremony (Justice of the Peace or other legal officiate) are joined legally and may enter into contractual relationships provided by state and federal law. Basically all couples so joined are in a "domestic partnership." Note that the Oregon "domestic partnership" bill does not extend federal benefits such as Social Security and join filing of taxes.

Religious sanctification is a personal choice that, for many, deepens the commitment and provides an opportunity to declare that commitment more publicly before family and friends. The importance of this joyous celebration of commitment is sanctified, recognized and acknowledged, by some religious institutions including the Unitarian Universalists. I applaud our state Legislature for their courage in doing the right thing.

Jan Waitt

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