The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers subsidized health insurance to members of Congress. Participation in the program is voluntary.

It is nothing if not ironic that Greg Walden is enrolled. Walden voted no on health care reform, citing cost and his objection to government involvement in health care.

Walden's message to his medically uninsured constituents: I'm in the life boat; the rest of you can swim. — Bill Sherwood, Phoenix

Don't blame Congress for the incivility and rudeness we witness in Washington these days. Elected officials are giving you what you want.

When Rep. Joseph Wilson shouted at the president, "you lie," he got enormous media attention and his home district popularity shot up. Rep. Randy Neugebauer shouts "baby killer" on the House floor and then basks in the national media attention he gets for it. Florida candidate for the U.S. House Corey Poitier calls President Obama "buckwheat" and gets mentioned on the front page of the CNN news Web site.

It's cheap attention for powerless and unknown legislators. They have no accomplishments to brag about so they resort to cheap shots to get noticed. The media like sensational stories, right-wing talk radio and TV supports them and constituents encourage them.

Some citizens followed their example on the day of the health care vote, shouting racial slurs at opposing black congressmen and spitting on them. Hate is contagious.

Unable to stop all progress to score political points, congressmen have lowered themselves to the level of name-calling and general rudeness. If this is what it takes to get elected in this country, we are in for some ugly times ahead. — Joseph T. Suste, Medford

Sen. Demint promised to defeat health care and destroy Obama's presidency: "It will be his Waterloo."

Rush Limbaugh told his listeners that the health care would never pass. If it did, he would move to Costa Rica. Rush is still broadcasting from Florida, but his latest gimmick is promising that every congressman who voted for health care will be defeated in November. That's 219 congressmen, Rush, over half the total number. Are you sure you can deliver?

Some right-wingers hired political guru Dick Morris to oversee their campaign. Morris promised to defeat the bill in the Senate, then in the House, and finally the reconciliation. Each promise was accompanied by a frantic appeal for donations. He didn't deliver, but his new ploy is claiming that "the Democratic Party committed political suicide when they passed the health care bill." If people will continue to contribute, he'll make it happen.

My question: Why does anyone listen to these fatuous windbags? — Jeff Cheek, Medford

If you think downtown is empty now, just wait until they put in parking meters! — G. Hebert, Medford

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