Online Extra Letters Feb. 9

From health care to renters to small business in this week's inbox


Of little notice, but of great impact, is the potential for this legislative session to bring us the next step to universal health care. How will this happen? What will it mean?

We need the Legislature to pass the Task Force for Universal Health Care recommendation, which is to establish a well-funded governance board for the Oregon Health Plan.

This board will be responsible to bring back for approval a universal health care plan by 2025. It will cover everyone’s health care needs, including behavioral, dental, vision and hearing, with no out of pocket, deductible or any other costs at the point of health services. Can you imagine no more bills for your health care?

It means the end of racial or economic health care inequities, no more bankruptcies caused by illnesses or accidents and no more dependency on employer (partially) provided health insurance. In other words, people are free to make life choices without being tied down by health insurance considerations.

Join Health Care for All Oregon,, for more information and be a part of another Oregon first.

Lou Sinniger


Kevin C. Cronin’s letter to the editor (“Stop The City’s Foot Dragging On Helping The Homeless,” Feb. 2) presents a disturbing picture of the City Manager’s response to homelessness, especially in light of Gov. Tina Kotek’s calling it an emergency demanding immediate action.

It’s time for citizens to pose questions and call for action on the local and national levels, and to thank and encourage Gov. Kotek to keep up the focus to end this situation of unhoused people. On the national level, the expanded child tax credit gave families hope by helping them catch up on rent, bills, and paying for food. This ladder out of poverty needs to be renewed and a renters’ tax credit passed that would help to cut the slide to homelessness among people paying too much of their income for rent (millions pay 50 percent or more).

So let’s raise our voices so our representatives at all levels know that it is time to end this blight of homelessness in the world’s richest nation. Passing these initiatives is a good start and your voice can help it happen.

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish, Washington


City Councilor Randy Groves describing life after the pandemic as a “hangover” for local businesses in the Jan. 26 Eugene Weekly is, at best, careless and uninformed. A hangover is the result of a poor decision from the night before. Many are familiar with the nausea, headaches and “hang-xiety” after a night of partying.

So, yes, small business owners understand the sentiment of describing the state of our local economy as a “hangover” while they grapple with the challenges of keeping a business afloat in the shockwaves of the pandemic (which may also elicit nausea, headaches, and, most certainly, anxiety).

But was this a result of a bad decision? As if we should all laugh about COVID-19 and promise, “I’m never doing that again!” and pull ourselves out of it by our bootstraps. It was also an interesting sentiment to include Sheree Walters’ quote expressing frustration at employees not giving two weeks’ notice or showing up to interviews. Gee, perhaps people are being choosy about where they work because they can’t afford to live in this town anymore or provide childcare for their little ones. What are Councilor Grove’s thoughts on that?

Hangovers go away on their own, but this one won’t without better decision-making from the top. How about our local government taking accountability for the alarming number of small businesses in town closing their doors for good?

Alicia Balfrey


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