The Baucus bill is no cure for our ailing health-care dissystem. It is simply a poorly disguised insurance industry poison pill, a time-release formula that will ultimately kill needed reform, sustaining the life of an industry that has made its profits from saying no to the ill. — Alan Berlin, Ashland

Now is the time to weigh in with phone calls, letters and other actions to support passage of health-care reform. Stand tall and behave in a civilized manner in spite of the lack of citizenship displayed by those who act out against proposed changes by the president.

The broken record for change is, unless something is done, costs will continue to increase and more employees and others will be left bearing the financial burden or going without coverage. Insurance companies on their own have little incentive to reduce profits and instead cut costs by rescinding or denying coverage for some and raising premiums for others. They don't want to see competition or regulation and are fighting reform.

The public option exists already in Medicare and Medicaid and offers a choice to the consumer. The sky is not going to fall if that option is extended to another 5 percent or so of the population who might be in need and benefit.

Let's hold our elected officials and others responsible for dealing in facts and not emotions and get the job done. One way or another we all pay and the president's plan gets more done for more people. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

All last month, stupidity seemed to be rampant at the carnival side shows labeled "health care meetings." The battle cry was, "Take back our government," when I foolishly thought "we the people" were the government.

Lying seems to be only good for expediency and consensus, which Rush Limbaugh and Congress seem to do very well. Thank goodness, I am not the ringmaster, or I'd have all of them tarred and feathered. On second thought, I wouldn't want to embarrass my feathered friends. — Jeanne H. Smith, Talent

I want to say something about these that mouth off about Medicare. It is not free. I pay into Medicare $100 a month. Then it does not cover everything. I pay another $78 to an insurance company to cover what Medicare does not. Then one thing more, they keep telling us Medicare is broke. That's because it is borrowed from to pay other expenses.

I am sure that the ones that are promoting this health care plan haven't even read it. How old are these that think this plan is the best thing since sliced bread? I am sure they don't need 1,500 pages to cover health. It is written for the lawyers to make money on.

1. It does not tell what it will cover.

2. It does not explain how much it will cost.

3. What it does not cover.

4. Who it will cover.

5. How long in duration.

6. These are just some of the things about this health plan.

7. It don't take much to see the bully in it.

8. I bet you don't have the guts to print this. — Chris Olufsen, Medford

Hilarious that the chamber president says his group is nonpartisan. Read their latest newsletter, whining about the increase in business taxes (the first time since the 1930s).

You would think the chamber would want to avoid education and health cuts. But no, they think their interests are most important.

Why is it a good idea for businesses to provide health insurance, when it puts U.S. businesses at a disadvantage to every other country? Why doesn't Oregon businesses provide jobs? We have the highest unemployment rate (outside of Michigan) in the nation. Lots of good questions, only partisan answers from the chamber. — Kathy Harlan, Ashland

For the first time in a while, we have a president who cares about the average person more than he does about the corporate interests. A president who is willing to create a health care program that should bring affordable health care to almost everyone. Although not perfect, no human endeavor is.

This proposed program is better than what we have now, which is leaving more and more people without adequate health care as costs go up but wages do not.

Virtually all industrialized countries have Universal Health Care for their citizens. Let's join the civilized world. Let's not be swayed by the fear tactics of the special interest groups or those who believe politics is more important than the well-being of all. Do not let these interests rob us of a health care program which is compassionate and fair to all, or compromise it to meaninglessness.

All responsible citizens need to write to their elected representatives in support of our president. — Bill McWhorter, Medford

In the Sept. 16 A la carte recipe Garlic Lime Beef w/Avocado Salsa, we have been told "Don't shy away from MSG." I am writing to tell you to not only shy away, but run as if your health depended on it!

A few years ago, my husband began experiencing disabling migraines, body tingling, followed by hours of "pass out" sleep, to wake up feeling groggy and unable to think coherently.

When doctors failed to diagnose, I began an intensive research project and discovered alarming information about MSG. The symptoms that my husband has are typical of MSG intolerance.

It is a myth that MSG enhances flavor. In reality it is addictive in nature, and stimulates your taste buds (Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken original recipe is a perfect example of its addictive qualities). Sound familiar? We all know that cigarette manufacturers use additives!

There is much I would like to share, but there is not enough room here.

In conclusion, it is in nearly everything. After an initial five-hour shopping trip reading all labels, I can tell you, I have eliminated all MSG (alias names include autolyzed, hydrolyzed and others) and have my husband back. (www.msgtruth.org/allergy.htm or www.healthy-holistic-living.com/msg-reaction.html). — Robin E. Brown, Eagle Point

The city is about to spend $68,000 on a parking study.

One answer is a simple one. The city entered the real estate market when it built parking, expecting "rent" from each car that parks for the day. The real estate market has had one of the most significant drops in value many of us have ever seen. Rental rates have declined.

The city is charging too much for the parking spaces. The market cannot afford the fees, and very few people are buying the permits. — Tom Fischer, Medford

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