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Our readers also urge support for the Dialysis Patient Demonstration Act (HR 4143) sponsored by 197 members of Congress, including Oregon U.S. House members Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici

Why are my elected officials not doing everything they can to stop the violence against women, children and men — families — at our border?

Why are we using tear gas on people seeking asylum? Why is this being allowed? What is being done to address this human rights violation and issue?

Where do Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden stand on budget allocations for the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

I am outraged by the decisions and actions our government is making. I urge both senators and my representative, Earl Blumenauer, to speak out against these actions and the "president" now. This has to be stopped, and they need to be using their voice and power to do it.

I am interested in knowing how they are helping organizers from Oregon get to the border to help those seeking asylum and accompany them to the border and through the process.

Our government is not my government when these actions are taken and nothing is done to speak out and stop this violent behavior. These are crimes against humanity and they need to be stopped.

I want to know. I want to see my elected officials take any and all actions to stop this now.

No excuses.

Anakha Coman

Northeast Portland

Support dialysis patient legislation

Given all the turmoil going on today, it is easy to lose sight of how much we all have to be thankful for. Health and family are things that are often taken for granted until they're gone. If you have a family member with a serious disease, this is a season that underscores the need to cherish the moment.

My brother-in-law was in his early 30s when his kidneys failed 10 years ago. My aunt donated a kidney, but he rejected it three years ago and had been going to dialysis five times a week.

He spent Christmas Eve the other year in a dialysis clinic. He was fortunate to receive a second kidney last year and is now leading a relatively normal life. I am thankful that he is still with us and doing well.

He is fortunate. Many kidney-failure patients are unable to secure a transplant. For them, a good chunk of every week is spent hooked up to a dialysis machine and in doctor visits. The financial and time costs are felt by the entire family.

The sad truth is that kidney transplants have a shelf life, and my brother-in-law's future still will likely include dialysis. That is why I am thankful that Congress is considering a bill to improve health outcomes and lower costs for kidney patients through better coordinated care. One-hundred ninety-seven members of Congress, including Oregon's own Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici, have sponsored the Dialysis Patient Demonstration Act (HR 4143).

However, this Congress has only a few weeks to finally pass this law to help improve things for kidney patients.

As people gather around their tables this holiday season, I hope everybody gives a second thanks for health, friends and family, and I hope, post-holiday, that Congress will pass HR 4143.

Elizabeth Cochran

Northeast Portland

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