Letters to the Editor

Gather for peace on Saturday in Medford

I want to scream every time I hear someone say we can't afford universal health care. Yes, a trillion dollars over 10 years is a lot of money, about the same as what we have appropriated for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I wish I believed that these were wars truly intended to create a safer world for all. I have come to understand them to be wars of aggression and exploitation, which I fear have only fanned the flames of hatred and distrust of our country around the world.

Instead of screaming, I plan to gather this Saturday at Alba Park in Medford with others who are calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On this seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we will listen to words of wisdom, sing, march and move to the library for an inspiring talk, followed by discussion groups on "Moving Beyond Us/Them Thinking."

While it is easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless as we look at the state of the world, coming together with other concerned citizens can revive and refresh our spirits. I hope that many who share these concerns will come and take part, adding their creative insights to the day.

Anna Cassilly


Commentary was filled with errors

The "No ObamaCare because..." commentary article by Ross MacKenzie, appearing in the March 16 Daily Tidings, is so full of inaccuracies that it's hard to know where to begin.

For starters, MacKenzie's statement that health care in England and Canada is more costly than in the U.S. is wildly off the mark; costs in these single-payer systems are one-half to two-thirds those in our country.

Furthermore, his statement that no government-overseen system is the equal of the U.S system is also wrong; recent studies place the U.S. health system as a whole well behind Canada, England and other such government-run or government-regulated systems.

It's also worth pointing out that opinion polls that show opposition to the current Congressional health reform bills are combining two quite different groups: those who believe the kind of misinformation that MacKenzie peddles and are opposed to "socialized medicine," and those who believe that the legislation contains too many flaws and compromises and would prefer a single-payer system such as Medicare for all.

Kenneth Bergman


At a loss for answers on medical coverage

A recent event has sent me into a tailspin. After being with the same family practice for 22-plus years, I received a letter "releasing" me from their care. For the first time in my life, I am without medical insurance. I have three ideas as to why: I lost my job and my insurance, I owe a past due balance — making payments — and the big one is that I am on a group of meds that are very popular in the news.

After the initial shock, begging and pleading, I have accepted the fact that I no longer have any health care. No one knows my medical issues or cares. The meds I am on make me a complicated case. I spent a whole day trying different venues and trying to find back up help, to no avail. If I just quit taking my medication, I will end up in the hospital or worse. I don't qualify for anything. I guess unemployment and disability is too much for the clinic and not enough for a private doc. What am I to do?

Linda Goins


Victims not to blame

There is a psychology to catastrophic events that needs to be explored. Such events that represent the "end of the world" to the individual may follow the same stages, psychologically, as suddenly being informed one has a fatal illness. During catastrophies of apocalyptic proportions, as individuals helplessly witness death and destruction and they believe they're doomed to die, it appears they engage in futile behaviors in effort to cling to the former reality that is being shattered around them.

President Bush had complained of "looting" while thousands of bodies floated past him down streets turned to rivers in New Orleans. Certainly, the catastrophe was of far greater concern. After Haiti, also, and after Chile, amidst massive devastations and deaths, we heard reports of what was least significant: "looting." Will somebody seriously complain of looting during Armageddon? When the world's coming to an end, who cares?

I trust people of any color would sooner see a television in their possession than wasted by an earthquake or flood. But obviously, under such conditions, it would be useless. What is really going on is a psychological phenomenon, in which individuals who believe themselves doomed to die commit acts or engage in behaviors that ordinarily would elicit the intervention of higher powers, higher authorities, mommy and daddy. Such behaviors represent living, figurative cries for help. I think that needs to be better understood for the victims of catastrophe.

Patti Morey


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