Letters: Crisis signals need for better health care
The burgeoning coronavirus threat proves the value of an "everybody in — nobody out" health system.
Our lack of such a system is a key issue in our May primary presidential vote.
The universal systems of Canada and Great Britain (as well as the Veterans Administration) tell you how to access assessment through telecare options. In addition, the Canada website gives good preparation tips.
Yet, here we have chaos, and the epidemic may be more devastating. We have no national hotline. We cannot match the testing volume of countries such as South Korea.
Finally, we have large groups vulnerable to heavier disease burden: the homeless, the uninsured, and immigrants whose permanent residence may be jeopardized by receiving Medicaid.
Our presidential primary is so important, as it is a choice between Medicare for all or tinkering with the status quo. Yet many registered through the DMV do not have a party affiliation. They will not be able to vote for president in our "closed" primary, unless they choose a party by April 28 (see online Multnomah County Elections to check your status).
Our media needs to do more to inform nonaffiliated voters, especially the young newly registered.
Bezos' billions buy lots of good press
Jeff Bezos, the multibillionaire who owns Amazon, recently pledged $10 billion to fight climate change. Naturally, he and his company achieved substantial public approval.
However, his pledge calls to mind a recent criticism made of his fellow billionaire, Michael Bloomberg.
The former New York mayor gave substantial contributions to many fine charitable causes in New York City. When residents wanted to oppose a major homeless policy of Mayor Bloomberg, they found many otherwise likely allies refusing to join in criticism of the mayor for fear of upsetting him and losing his support of their charities.
Here, Bezos is faced with substantial criticism regarding working conditions in Amazon facilities worldwide. Those who campaign against global warming would be likely supporters of the disadvantaged workers. But now that Bezos has made this pledge (whether or not he really follows through), he has probably acquired the same insurance against criticism enjoyed by Bloomberg.
In view of the immense size of Amazon (566,000 employees at last count), $10 billion is probably not too big a price to pay to discourage support for international labor activism, as well as gain favorable press.
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