Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Obama can't run on his record

When running for president, then-senator Obama was faced with a dilemma. He couldn't run on his record of achievements, as he didn't have any. Nor could he run on his agenda, for it came from the uttermost depths of the leftmost wing of the Democratic Party. So he pretended to be a moderate, used inspirational-sounding but essentially meaningless rhetoric ("hope and change") and successfully gambled that Bush fatigue and the historic opportunity of electing our first black president would cause voters to overlook his singular lack of qualifications.

Now he is running for re-election, and faces the same dilemma. He still can't run on his agenda, for that includes the imposition of cap and trade on our economy, eliminating the use of coal in generating electricity, and driving the price of gasoline "to European levels."

Neither can he run on his record of achievements, for these include a huge stimulus which he promised would significantly reduce unemployment but didn't, annual trillion dollar deficits which have cost the Federal Government its coveted AAA bond rating, Obamacare, which a majority of Americans want repealed, "Operation Fast and Furious," in which the government allowed American guns to get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, which then used those same guns to murder Mexican citizens and one U. S. border guard, crony capitalism, in which corporations with good political connections get plums, such as the federal guaranteed loans granted to the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, an outfit which promptly went bankrupt; there's lots more, but you get the idea.

So President Obama continues his pretense of being a moderate, uses meaningless rhetoric, such as "the private sector is all right," and gambles that his use of class warfare will cause voters to overlook that his, like Jimmy Carter's, is a failed presidency.

It took two terms in office for independents and moderate Democrats to develop Bush fatigue, but it's taken only one term for President Obama to induce Obama fatigue in these same voters.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Single payer system will save health care in America

Even with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, Oregonians need to demand health care financing that does not put us in the poor house!

Anyone paying health insurance premiums knows our health care financing system is broken. After the ACA is fully implemented in 2019, 26 million Americans will still lack coverage. Those who cannot afford insurance often seek health care at emergency rooms with all of us footing the bill.

Insurance and pharmaceutical corporations keep their profits flowing by spending millions to hoodwink us into believing that public financing means government takeover and decreased health care quality.

Both Medicare and the Veterans Administration prove otherwise. What we need now, if we are to avoid breaking the bank, is improved Medicare for everyone regardless of age.

Only two percent of Medicare's dollars go to administration/overhead. Private insurance spends as much as 16.7 percent. Under a single payer system, overall administrative costs would fall from 33 percent of current health care spending to less than 5 percent, saving hundreds of billions of dollars.

Studies by the nonpartisan General Accounting Office and Congressional Budget Office report that implementing a national single payer system would yield administrative cost-savings enough to guarantee coverage for every American without increasing overall health care spending.

Because Congress has not yet enacted affordable health insurance legislation, Health Care for All-Oregon is campaigning for affordable, comprehensive, publicly funded, high quality systems of health care serving everyone in Oregon and the United States.

Oregon Rural Action is one of 50 HCAO member organizations statewide. ORA is organizing health care action in Baker, Wallowa, Union, Malheur and Umatilla counties. To find out how you can help hold health care costs in check, contact the Oregon Rural Action Health Care Action Team (541-663-1358) or email bill@oregonrural.org

Bill Whitaker

La Grande