The Times gets letters on Medicare Advantage, the Tigard Public Library and Build Back Better.

Medicare Advantage is important for older adults

When I retired more than 20 years ago, I had to find the right healthcare plan that was dependable and affordable to meet my needs, especially as a retiree living on a fixed income. I even talked to other retirees to determine the right health insurance plan for me.

I was grateful to learn that Medicare Advantage was an option. Medicare Advantage provides me with affordable coverage, thanks to low premiums and capped out-of-pockets costs. With robust prescription drug coverage and integrated benefits, this program has given me the assurance I need to feel confident in my healthcare.

And, I'm not the only senior in Oregon who has come to depend on this program. In fact, 47% of Oregonians who are Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Given the tremendous benefits the program provides, these statistics are not surprising.

Medicare Advantage offers additional benefits that traditional Medicare doesn't cover, like vision, hearing, and dental benefits, and even telehealth options -- all of which have been especially helpful during the pandemic when my living costs have continued to go up and we've had to stay home.

Our legislators need to continue to advocate for strengthening this program even more. Oregon seniors deserve the best healthcare available.

I hope that Congress continues to promote programs that serve the needs of our communities.

Ray Johnson, Southwest Portland

Kudos to Tigard Public Library staff

I feel a huge number of thank-yous are owed to the Tigard Public Library staff. They kept materials available to all of us starting in March 2020, when COVID shut down nearly everything. We were able to request materials and staff even brought them out to our cars during specific hours. I wonder how many miles they walked during that past year?

Of course, no volunteers were allowed into the building during that time to help with shelving and re-shelving, finding special requests, sorting and a myriad of other jobs — so the staff did it all. Thank goodness, as it kept me from "going bananas" at home as I was able to access all kinds of books, DVDs, CDs, etc., and then return them in the dropbox later.

I appreciate all the library staff's efforts and want to give a big "thanks" to them. I know many people who feel the same way.

Merri Reamer, Tigard

Congress must act on Biden agenda

Like Harry Potter finding a portal to a safer place, the Build Back Better Act pending in Congress can take us through our portal just in time.

We have this decade to reduce carbon emissions, 6-7% yearly, to avoid catastrophic climate change. Doing this, cutting emissions in half each decade, we could come to a safer place: a world tougher for harms already done, but livable.

Waiting any longer — in eight years, it will be too late to avoid very bad temperatures. Our heat domes and fires will come even more relentlessly without action now.

The Build Back Better Act would mean 100% clean energy for generating electricity, all vehicles become electric, and buildings use fully clean energy. The act would bring good jobs, at least 40% to communities in greatest need of economic boost.

Two-thirds of voting Americans want ambitious climate actions, building the infrastructure we need. The time for Congress to act is now and we have leaders in this effort. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley plus Rep. Suzanne Bonamici are strong advocates, along with other Oregon delegates. Hopefully Rep. Kurt Schrader will join in making the positive investments in communities addressing climate change will bring.

Donna Maebori, Beaverton

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