Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

We deserve better health care

To the editor:

We deserve government policies that meet our real and urgent needs for good-paying jobs and affordable health insurance.But some current proposals are actually harmful.

In his constituent letter dated April 29, our U.S. Congressman, Greg Walden, said, "You deserve a fact-based conversation on the budget."And he repeatedly assured us that, "I understand fairness. That is why our budget does not propose any changes to Medicare. . . for those 55 and older."

Instead of being mollified because the Republican Medicare plan doesn't

affect me, I believe that those of us now 55 and older have a

responsibility to join fully in this debate.To me, real fairness would

require that those now under 55 andndash; our children, grandchildren, and

great-grandchildren andndash; will receive excellent, affordable health care as

they become elderly.And this will not be achieved by handing them

limited-value vouchers that each year pay an ever-smaller share of

private insurance premiums. They should not be forced to shoulder many

trillions of dollars of added expense for unnecessary, wasteful,

private insurance.

Currently, the United States of America has twice the health care

expense per person than do other industrialized nations, and we get

poorer health outcomes.So, there's plenty of money around to pay for

excellent health care for all citizens, if we had, say, improved

Medicare for all.

Waldenboasted that his budget would cut $6.2 trillion in spending over

the next decade, which slashes government employees and services, and

forgoes any real hope of new job creation.But a "fact-based

conversation" would tell us that his budget actually results in annual

budget deficits each year for the next 28 years.Why?Because it also

funnels more money to the top elite, with an unbelievable $2.9 trillion

in additional tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Walden's budget is actually just part of an ongoing, ideological attack

on Medicare and government in general, this time wrapped up in an

overblown deficit-reduction scare campaign that benefits only those who

already have most of the money. We deserve much better.Let's join

together to create practical solutions that work for everyone.

Marshall McComb

Baker City