To all those condemning Rep. Walden and President Bush for the SCHIP veto: If you have more tax money to send, please give me your billing address and I'll be glad to let you pay for my private insurance.

This way you can feel good about the use of your money, and I qualify under the irresponsible Democratic plan. Besides, isn't teaching fiscal responsibility an appropriate way of voting for kids? — Joe Borecki, Medford

I appreciate good citizens who voice their concerns to representatives, even when we don't share a particular point of view. I recognize and thank Rep. Walden for helping prevent congressional override of the president's veto of the SCHIP bill.

Many have remained silent during this debate about the pending federal government takeover of health care. Too few of us have publicly presented our side. It is about time that we do. — Mette McDermott, Medford

President Bush's veto of the SCHIP program highlights the need to cover uninsured children in Oregon. We cannot wait for the federal government to fix a problem that is inherently ours; 117,000 uninsured children.

Some 60,000 children are eligible for OHP, yet the state cannot enroll them because the funding does not exist. A yes vote on Measure 50 can fix that.

Tobacco companies have poured $9.1 million into no on 50 advertising, a record for a ballot initiative in Oregon. Perhaps they know some 30,000 Oregon kids will never start to smoke when the tax is raised 85 cents. Perhaps they know smokers who start young often stay lifetime smokers (18 percent of Oregon adults smoke, while 17 percent of Oregon kids smoke).

Tobacco-related illness costs our Medicaid program $287 million a year, and $1.11 billion in total expenditures in Oregon.

We can't afford to wait. — Karen Starchvick, Jacksonville

This may seem a bit of a cop-out, but one way to vote on measures that you don't completely understand is to see how people or groups you like vote.

For example, on Measure 49, which tries to clean up Measure 37 on land use, Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts, John Kitzhaber and Ted Kulongoski, along with the League of Women Voters, the Oregon Farm Bureau and the Nature Conservancy, say vote yes.

Opposition to Measure 49 comes almost completely from obscure and unknown individuals and groups.

On Measure 50 on health care, Gov. Kulongoski, the Oregon Business Association, the Urban League of Portland, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Providence and the American Heart Association say vote yes.

The leading opponent of Measure 50 is the tobacco industry, which has poured millions of dollars into Oregon to defeat it. As with Measure 49, most other opponents are obscure and unknown. — Harry Cook, Ashland

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