Climate Change and Health Care

Readers ponder what really matters in this week’s online letters to the editor


As a retired Oregon teacher with seven grandchildren, I am very concerned about what effective actions our elected leaders are taking to respond to the global climate crisis we’re facing to protect their future. 

That’s why I was so excited and thankful to see the recent powerful Washington Post interview in which our Sen. Jeff Merkley described what’s needed to address the climate crisis, why it’s needed immediately and what the White House could be doing but isn’t. Instead of green-lighting fossil fuel projects, Merkley said Biden at the least should declare a climate emergency, stop producing more fossil infrastructure and rapidly deploy renewable infrastructure. Merkley added that people will rally around a leader who lays out a clear and powerful vision and says how urgent it is. He said we must help educate the public that natural (fossil methane) gas, plastics and fossil hydrogen are climate killers we can not pretend are ok as they are currently marketed.

I urge readers to thank Merkley for this clear and powerful vision he has shared pushing the White House to act on climate. We are indeed in need of a candidate who understands and is ready to effectively respond to the climate emergency. So let’s rally around Merkley and encourage him to run for president in the Democratic primaries where he can debate such urgent issues and challenge the status quo while educating and inspiring voters. 

David Zupan


Leaving the grocery store a few days ago, I passed a woman sitting with a cardboard sign that read, “Need help with cancer care costs.”

I am ashamed. The U.S. is the richest country in the world, yet we leave someone who is already scared and suffering without access to the care they need.

As it happens, I, too, have recently been diagnosed with cancer. I’m one of the lucky ones: I have pretty good insurance. Nonetheless, I have a copay of several hundred dollars for each procedure, and I am sure there are many for whom these mounting costs would also be difficult to pay. Research shows that cancer patients are more likely to declare bankruptcy than others.

This is a disgrace. The Oregon Legislature passed in the last session, and the governor signed, a bill establishing the Universal Health Care Governance Board, tasked with setting up a single-payer health care system for the state, providing quality care to all Oregonians. Please follow and support this process at Health Care for ALL Oregon (

Jo Alexander


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the $100 million estimate of taxes for a new baseball stadium and the real need for an emergency room in Eugene. I have nothing against baseball, but adequate health care is more important.  The emergency rooms in Springfield are too busy already, and trying to get to either Springfield hospital on a bus from downtown Eugene would require at least one transfer and presents an increased opportunity to spread disease. What are our priorities?

Frank Moran

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