Letters to the Editor

ACA penalizes those who planned and saved

My husband and I had a high-deductible, relatively low monthly premium plan through private insurance. We saved over the years and set money aside to pay for medical expenses.

Then the ACA wiped out our plan. The private insurance company presented a new plan not much better than the original with a monthly increase of 200 percent. This premium is unaffordable on retirement income, unless we dip into savings every month.

Will the ACA and resulting consequences slowly bankrupt citizens who have worked hard, saved money and planned for the future?

We talked with a private agent trained to answer questions and fax paperwork to the Cover Oregon exchange. After a month, our paperwork remains “in the system somewhere,” but this is all we know. I suspect our enrollment has been sidelined to help those considered more at risk. Meanwhile, our insurance company reoffered the original plan, and we hope it is still affordable.

If we ran our household in the same inconsistent and flippant manner as the federal and state governments do business, there would be trouble. Cover Oregon might come through before the deadline to notify our insurance company of intent to stay, but I doubt it. Ironically, the medical, out-of-pocket emergency we should have saved for all these years was the ACA.

Marianne Pearson

Bend

Require oil refining in the U.S.

On Dec. 12, The Wall Street Journal reported that Exxon Mobil wants to use this moment in time, when it appears that America is becoming a major oil producer, to lobby for a change in the law currently requiring any exports of American petroleum products to go through the refining process here before shipment. They want to export raw American crude, straightaway; no “value added.”

“Value added” is great policy. It’s my hope that U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, as head of the energy committee, stands against this request.

All Americans will benefit from lower energy prices and a possible resurgence in manufacturing. Good manufacturing jobs are generally “family wage” — exactly what the U.S. needs.

If only “value added” was required on raw Oregon logs, cut and slated for export.

Wayne Mayo

Scappoose

Court’s business-friendly decision was incorrect

I question the accuracy of your recent editorial titled, “Ban on speech in quixotic quest to save democracy.”

You suggest that the unlimited funding of political campaigns by corporations is a free speech matter. I submit that it was a business-friendly decision by the Supreme Court and an incorrect one.

Corporations were created by legislation, not the Constitution. They have always been subject to limitations, such as campaign financing laws. The enormous financial power of artificial organizations (corporations, including unions) should not be allowed to overwhelm the voting power of individuals.

As it has been said, we will know that corporations are people when Texas executes one.

Bill Sugnet

Bend

How about underground parking for campus?

Reviewing the three “possible plans” for the campus, I see two eights (parking) on each. I’ve heard there may be as many as 5,000 students on the campus. The supporting, administrators, service personnel, professors and visitors will add several hundred more people on-site. I don’t understand how the limited parking areas will be able to accommodate the thousand or more cars coming to the campus every day.

Some of the plans include filling the pumice mine hole: this could add several million dollars to the cost. Was any consideration given to building an underground parking garage in this hole and putting a building on top or converting it to green space?

Gentry Wade

Sunriver

Donate blood — the gift of life

This Christmas, you might consider giving the gift of life. Better yet, start a habit of giving the gift of life. I am talking about donating a pint of blood every eight weeks.

The Red Cross says that every pint donated saves up to three lives, 24 lives per gallon. Over a lifetime, one can easily donate 25 gallons starting at 20 years old — 600 lives in a lifetime. There have been times in my life that being a major blood donor was the most contributing factor to self esteem in an otherwise bleak period of life. This opportunity is available to the majority of people. It is time to just do it.

Gordon Shaw

Bend