Venezuela government to blame; Keep healthcare; Lower costs or more chaos — Letters to the Editor 1-6-18

Government is to blame in Venezuela

In response to James Sherwood’s Letter to the Editor (“Real Cause for Venezuela’s Suffering,” Jan 3), Venezuela was a basket case long before the Trump administration.

By 2011, there was a shortage of two million homes. Housing shortages were further exacerbated when private construction halted due to the fear of property expropriations by its socialist government.

Inflation in 2014 reached 69 percent, and was the highest in the world. By 2015, inflation was 181 percent and 800 percent in 2016.

The cause of the Venezuelan crisis is control of the economy by its own government.

— Ian Eales



Keep healthcare for Oregon children

The ballot is most likely in your hands, and if you read the voters pamphlet you could be confused because some seeming to support measure 101 are trying to trick voters into voting “no.”

It’s sad that they would resort to this kind of subterfuge, legal or not.

The Oregon legislators worked together to pass this legislation. Now, we need to reaffirm it.

I will vote “yes” so Oregon children can have healthcare.

—Nancy Rickard



Lower costs or more chaos?

Mr. Peck, in his recent Guest Viewpoint (“Be Informed When Placing Your Vote on Measure 101,” Jan. 3) supporting a “no” vote on Measure 101, mentions the previous Guest Viewpoint by Dr. John Egar and myself (“No On Measure 101 will Raise Healthcare Costs,” Dec. 30), in which we researched and listed various reasons, and facts, to support a “yes” vote.

Mr. Peck references those facts as merely “statistics” but didn’t address them in any way.

If M101 fails, every Oregon healthcare premium could rise significantly.

Medical providers, hospitals and clinics will shift their new unreimbursed treatment costs — for potentially 400,000 “former” Medicaid-Oregon Health Plan enrollees no longer receiving coverage — to other insurance carriers.

Almost every professional healthcare, physician and hospital organization in the state supports M101. Approximately 70 percent of the state revenue raised by the underlying House bill will come from those various provider organizations — yet they support M101.

If M101 fails, Oregonians turn their back on billions of dollars in federal matching funding. The match rate is usually at least 3 times any state Medicaid funding.

For the 400,000 Oregonians added to the OHP since 2012, the Feds will pay about 95 percent of the Medicaid-OHP costs at this stage.

Only about 30 percent, or less, of the new state revenue comes from the assessment — or premium tax — on various carriers issuing healthcare policies. Ignored is the fact that premiums in the “individual market” are expected to see a 6 percent net reduction due to the new “insurance stabilization” efforts built into the bill.

This decreases premium prices more — 6 percent more — than the 1.5 percent tax may raise them.

Why ignore this?

The underlying bill affirmed by M101 has already been through a complex Legislative process. It created an insurance stabilization process when it was apparent the GOP-dominated Congress’s would fail to refund any federal process, and was actually encouraging risk-pool fragmentation.

M101 represents and affirms a state legislative bi-partisan 3/5th majority vote that provides needed and critical certainty of funding for the near-term.

Improvements, without the chaos of cutting benefits or coverage for up to 1 million Oregonians, will come in future Legislative sessions.

—Rand Dawson

Siltcoos Lake

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