Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, July 01, 2015, Image 4

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    A4
Opinion
wallowa.com
July 1, 2015
Wallowa County Chieftain
Unfair drug
pricing
killing us
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EDITORIAL
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The voice of the Chieftain
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For example, Medicaid, which serves low income
people, and the Department of Veterans Affairs use
their purchasing power to good advantage to get their
medications at a more reasonable price than that paid for the
same drugs being used by Medicare patients. A recent study
showed that these agencies were able to get the 10 most
prescribed drugs at costs nearly 50% less than Medicare.
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themselves suddenly paying more in co-pays for the exact
same medication they were taking previously. Why is this
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restricting Medicare from bargaining with Big Pharma for
the best deal for Americans!
You may shop for a health care plan, but depending on
what it offers and the price it costs, you may pay nothing
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are paid. You can, and this is particularly true for cancer
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thousand dollars a month!
Major manufacturers of drugs in our country rarely
limit their distribution to the United States. They are
multinational corporations and one glaring inequity is that
the very same product is often very much cheaper in Canada
and Mexico. Very well, why not reimport those cheaper
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made it illegal to reimport drugs from another country!
With the costs of medicine in the United States being the
highest in the world, it is no wonder that many Americans
are buying online to get a bargain. It is possible, in concert
with your doctor identifying your needs and dosages, to
work through registered international pharmacies. However,
shopping online requires a personal risk assessment. You
may get scammed.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There has been a steady
drum beat of proposed legislation and broken promises
to end prohibitions against negotiations to use the buying
power of Medicare, a huge market, to reduce the cost of
health care. Legislation to address the issue always gets
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for debate. President Obama promised in his 2008 campaign
to work towards reducing costs of drugs. He has asked
Congress to act on the matter, but he has hardly used the
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Why all the law-making to oppose market competition
and negotiation? Why the inaction? I am of the opinion
that it demonstrates the persuasive power of Big Pharma to
lobby a sky’s-the-limit price on their product. The industry
always points to the high costs of research, of testing and of
bringing a product to market. That is true, but why does the
same product cost different prices in different countries? If
delivering a product is the main objective, why are many
drug makers’ advertising budgets bigger than their research
budgets?
The Constitution guarantees us the right to “Life…”
But all too many people have to choose between food or
medicine, and what you give up with either choice is likely
to ruin your health.
USPS No. 665-100
P.O. Box 338 • Enterprise, OR 97828
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Enterprise, Oregon
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O FFICE MANAGER
Marissa Williams, marissa@bmeagle.com
Rob Ruth, editor@wallowa.com
Stephen Tool, stool@wallowa.com
Kathleen Ellyn, kellyn@wallowa.com
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See the Wallowa County Chieftain on the Internet
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POSTMASTER — Send address changes to
Wallowa County Chieftain
P.O. Box 338
Enterprise, OR 97828
Contents copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction
without permission is prohibited.
Our talent is tattering jeans
Happy b-day, America. I’m going to
write your name so big with sparklers when
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Then I’m going to light some of those black
snakes that just turn from a lump into a line
of ash. Not sure why I like those. They’re
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America, I’ve got a story for you. You
know how people are always like, Amer-
ica — yeah, apple pie, hot dogs and bald
eagles ... well, I think we can put blue jeans
in that category too for things that are very
American. Used to be all about the Levi’s.
Then there’s Wranglers and so forth. Car-
hartts also have a devoted fan club, and for
good reason — they’re a solid pant, Amer-
ica. Them double-front logger versions are
just the thing for working on stuff.
You better sit down for this, America.
If you ask me, it doesn’t bode real well for
the state of the union. Or humanity. I just
heard a story about a Wallowa County guy,
Patrick Baird, who was down in Los Ange-
AND
FURTHERMORE
Jon
Rombach
les visiting a friend and at a
get-together some stranger walked up and
asked, “Who does your Carhartts?”
Patrick replied, “What?” The strang-
er repeated it. “Who does your Carhartts?
They’re great.” Patrick had to admit he
did not understand the words coming out
of the person’s mouth. So get this. After it
was explained, here’s what Patrick learned.
Down in Los Angeles, apparently it’s a real
thing to buy a new pair of Carhartts, then
pay somebody to break them in for you and
make them look old and abused. I’m told a
grinder is one of the tools used.
Patrick explained to the person that he
bought the pants four years ago and, well,
just did stuff while wearing them. Chores.
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when he works as a river guide. This tale
of authentic, genuine pants-aging was met
with effusive admiration and another round
of compliments on his distressed dunga-
rees.
I mean, sure. It was Los Angeles. If
something like this had to happen it was
going to be LA or New York. But ... c’mon.
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ing your pants out for a beating. That was
followed by icy discomfort and suddenly
I knew what it must have been like to be
appalled with that Elvis Presley fellow and
his provocative dancing. Kids these days
and their crazy antics.
The good news is, Wallowa County
can probably set up a lively export pipe-
line by shipping however many pairs of
genuinely tattered jeans we have here
over to the city folks.
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That river project near Hwy 82
It’s come to my attention that concerns
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habitat/river restoration project taking
place on the 6 Ranch, a couple of miles
west of Enterprise on the south side of
Highway 82. My intention is to both an-
swer questions as well as promote public
awareness about this endeavor with this
brief column.
The project currently being construct-
ed is designed to enhance habitat, pri-
marily for spring Chinook salmon and
summer steelhead, as well as all other
aquatic species native to the Wallowa
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chord for everyone, I hope this editori-
al will help provide understanding as to
why others care and how it affects you.
In 1980, the US Congress passed the
Northwest Power Act, a law that in its
simplest terms, requires Bonneville Pow-
er Administration, Bureau of Reclama-
tion, and the Army Corps of Engineers
(the action agencies who built, own, and
manage the dams on the Snake and Co-
lumbia Rivers) to mitigate for the nega-
tive effects the dams have on Endangered
Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead.
The undesirable impact of the dams on
tion: if you’re going to continue to gen-
erate and distribute cheap electricity, you
must create a process whereby the loss
Jeff Oveson
at the dams is offset by the enhancement
of habitat in Snake and Columbia River
¿VK SRSXODWLRQV SDUWLFXODUO\ WKRVH DQDG- tributaries.
Many decades ago, the 6 Ranch was
romous species (salmon, steelhead and
lamprey) who must pass over or through the site of a publicly-funded project to
the dams on their juvenile migration to the channelize the river against the nearby
ocean and again on their return trip to their hillside, a common practice for the time
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natal rivers to spawn, is unmistakable.
Why should that matter to you? When W\SHRIVWUHDPPRGL¿FDWLRQZDVIRUPHU-
you turn on anything from a computer ly a popular course of action, repeated
to an irrigation pump, you will be us- throughout the Grande Ronde and Wal-
ing electricity purchased through one of lowa watersheds, and certainly aligned
the action agencies (in Wallowa County, with values of that era. Flash forward
most of the electricity comes through to present, where the 6 Ranch project is
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from Bonneville Power). What we tend ¿VKWKHUDQFKLWVHOIHPSOR\FRQWUDFWRUV
WRIRUJHWLVWKH3DFL¿F1RUWKZHVWHQMR\V and ultimately invest a large chunk of
the cheapest electricity in the country, change in the local economy. This project
thanks largely to the action agencies’ is a prime example of restoration which
construction and operation of the dams landowners can rarely achieve on their
on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. In own, and demonstrates the value in using
fact, despite the use of rate payer dollars local direction to spend public funds in
funding habitat restoration, on average a way which aligns with the priorities of
Oregon pays half the price per kilowatt residents.
hour of New York and Connecticut. The
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Northwest Power Act created an equa-
GUEST COLUMN
Ombudsman involved at WVSL
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman
(LTCO) program provides advocacy ser-
vices for residents in residential care fa-
cilities under the federal Older Americans
Act, and Oregon law. Broadly, the pro-
gram has two vital functions: direct ad-
vocacy services to residents and systemic
advocacy efforts on behalf of all residents.
Recently, three Wallowa Valley Senior
Living (WSVL) residents received Invol-
untary Move Out Notices claiming their
needs had exceeded the care provided.
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Ombudsman program stating they did not
agree that the needs of these residents had
increased, that their needs did not exceed
the level of care provided under the facil-
ity license, and that they had been prom-
ised they could stay in the facility for the
remainder of their lives.
Other community members contact-
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built with local taxpayer funds and they
were led to believe that it was done so
to insure local seniors would not have to
move to other locales to receive LTC ser-
The second concern is the lack of clar-
ity
surrounding residents who had resided
GUEST COLUMN
in the old nursing home and when exactly
Todd Steele and David Berger
someone would have to move out of the
facility as their care needs increased. In
vices. WVSL is owned by Wallowa Valley 0D\ZHSRVHGTXHVWLRQVWR$UWHJDQ
Health Care District and is managed by on behalf of residents and family mem-
Artegan, LLC. Recent Letters to the Ed- bers. At that time, Artegan stated they
itor and high turnout for the Health Care would exhaust every option to keep res-
District board meeting, illustrates much idents in their home as long as possible.
public concern for county seniors and a Furthermore, Artegan stated they expect-
need to clarify what services will be pro- ed and anticipated a higher level of care
provided by WVSL versus other assisted
vided by WVSL moving forward.
The Ombudsman program, in repre- living communities.
Finally, they said they would work
senting resident interests, had three specif-
LFDUHDVRIFRQFHUQ7KH¿UVWZDVWRDVVLVW with regulators to meet higher needs to
those residents who had been asked to keep county seniors close to families and
move from their home in exercising their in the county they call home. A commu-
right to appeal the notice at a hearing. nity discussion must occur to clarify the
Each individual’s situation was addressed situation, publicly, disseminate the results,
separately and presented in an informal and set a course for whatever is decided.
The third area of concern is a lack
conference held with the resident’s repre-
sentative, the DHS Licensor, the facility, of services normally available to support
and the Ombudsman. The Move Out No- residents outside nursing facilities, either
tices were rescinded and thankfully these
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residents remain in their homes.
Sheriff upholding Constitution
To the Editor:
There was a letter to the editor on June
17th with a theme that the Sheriff does
not have the authority to make a judg-
ment on whether to enforce a particular
law, in this case whether to enforce a re-
cently passed UNCONSTITUTIONAL
gun law!
Sadly the author has it all wrong as it
is unconstitutional. The Sheriff takes an
oath to Uphold the Constitution of the
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cers as well as those in the military take
the same oath ... I took that oath during
my entrance into the military and was
LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR
proud to have the privilege.
Instead of being critical of the Sher-
iff the letter writer should be thanking
him because he is honoring the greatest
law of the land and one of our most ba-
sic rights. I applaud Sheriff Rogers for
having the courage to refuse to enforce
a horrible and stupid law ... If we were
to wait for the idiots to erase this bill that
was so foolishly rushed into law it could
take forever.
I read an article that Lane Coun-
ty passed a resolution to not honor this
pathetic legislation and also many or all
other County Sheriff’s are refusing to en-
force it.
Every hunter, gun owner and collec-
tor should be thanking God we have a
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and cares for those whom he represents.
There should be so many letters pouring
in to Editor, Rob Ruth that he will have to
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Stormy Burns USN (Ret’d)
-RVHSK