To the editor:

On June 22 an article in the Sunday Oregonian (Metro section, page B2) stated that Gustavo Mercado-Murillo pleaded no contest to sodomy, rape and sexual penetration with a foreign object to three boys and two girls all of whom were/are under the age of 10. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Mercado is 31 years old, has three children and a wife, who is pregnant, and is in our country, my home state, illegally. He is also ill. My tax dollars, my children's tax dollars, your tax dollars have been paying for his kidney dialysis at a cost of $300,000 a year and will continue to pay for his treatments until he dies in custody. I can only assume that Oregon Health Plan was also the source of revenue for the medical costs associated with the birth and care of his soon to be four children and wife.

How many working poor, U.S. citizens do you know who are uninsured, unable to provide even basic medical care for their families and earn too much to be allowed medical care through OHP? I know quite a few.

Please take a moment to write or call our elected officials. Make your voice heard.

I believe that working, productive Oregon citizens should receive, at minimum, the level of health and medical coverage that is extended to illegal aliens and convicted felons. Our health care system is tragically flawed and it is time to start the repairs.

Linda Jeffery