Pamplin Media Group – Letters to the Editor: Don’t let legislation limit our medical innovation

Our readers are voting on ending filibusters, medical research, vaccines, highway tolls in the Portland area, and childcare issues.

It really feels like we’re close to the other end of the COVID-19 tunnel, doesn’t it?

COVID cases and related hospital stays continue to decline and it seems like a full reopening of our state is not far away.

I know the pandemic season is fuzzy, but it is worth thinking about how far we have come in such a short amount of time and how much we owe our positive path to biopharmaceutical innovation. The vaccines were the game changer that we promised, and we have to give credit where credit is due, and I hope we as a society remember what medical innovation has done for us.

The vaccine didn’t start from scratch. This was made possible by the cutting-edge research that began years ago.

Most people know that penicillin was a discovery by chance. People in the future might know that messenger RNA research made this vaccine possible.

You never know what possibilities medical innovations will open up. That is why we have to continuously invest in biopharmaceutical research. However, Congress is considering proposals that could hinder medical innovation and we should look carefully at them.

A bill, HR 3, could result in fewer remedies being developed.

While these bills may be well-intentioned, everyone wants to cut healthcare costs, but we need to consider the long-term cost of building roadblocks that could prevent the development of the next life-saving drug or vaccine.

Long story short, thanks to medical innovation, we seem to be turning around on COVID-19. There are so many diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS and more that we need to change that corner too. Let’s keep prioritizing medical innovation.

Matt Ragan

Happy valley

End filibuster to protect the nation’s voting rights

American voting rights are under attack and color communities are targeted.

Our democracy is in crisis and needs to be repaired urgently and immediately. We have a historic opportunity to use the For The People Act to make real, transformative change. But we have to act now.

The For The People Act would restore the Voting Rights Act, make it easier for people to vote in federal elections, end gerrymandering in Congress, and much more. Most of these reforms would be implemented for the crucial 2022 elections, and the US House of Representatives has already passed its version. It is time for the US Senate, page 1, to pass the For The People Act.

I am asking Oregon US Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to work hard to defeat the Filibuster. There are a lot of Republicans and a few Democrats who would use the filibuster to block the For The People Act. The filibuster has to end.

When I was 18, it wasn’t the legal voting age. But I was working on the John F. Kennedy campaign and I met a woman in her 70s who told me she had voted in every election since she reached voting age.

I made a vow to do the same, and I did, and I’m 79 years old now. But I am very worried and afraid of the filibuster.

Marian Drake

Northeast Portland

Tolls will only increase our traffic problems

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to impose tolls on all of Interstate 205 and Interstate 5 in the Wilsonville metropolitan area almost to the Columbia River is going to hurt us very much.

The state will not provide much information on this critical issue. After four years of planning, there are few details.

The effort involved in setting up the toll will be enormous. Tolls waste more than 30% to 40% of daily expenses. Taxpayers have no control over what or where tolls are collected

Most middle- and low-income families cannot afford more transportation costs. Drivers in poverty are likely to get a free pass.

Redirecting traffic to non-freeways to avoid tolls will be a major problem. We have already paid for the highways. We didn’t get a chance to vote and ODOT is ignoring its own poll, which shows overwhelming opposition.

Hackers are given another chance to access your bank account.

There was little coordination with Washington State, as much of the $ 195 million wasted planning the Columbia River Crossing (Interstate Bridge on I-5 between Portland and Vancouver, Washington).

Please email your federal, state, and local governments your thoughts on this plan.

Dave Farmer

West Linn

I am not a parent, why should I take care of childcare?

As a young professional, I watch my friends begin to raise families and embark on their child-rearing adventures. It is harrowing to see them panic when they discover that there are few childcare options here in Multnomah County.

It is demoralizing to see ambitious women stepping down from their careers because it is simply “not enough” to both work and take care of a child outside of the home.

Given the volatile employment trends, my friends work with a serious unpredictability. It’s a scary time for parents. Ultimately, we need all options.

Oregon’s House Bill 3073 gives us options. This law ensures that families in Oregon can know that whatever the case, they have a safety net to ensure their children are in safe, loving spaces should they choose to take care of their children.

HB 3073 gives women freedom. HB 3073 ensures that our service providers are treated with respect and are fairly rewarded for their enormous commitment in shaping our next generations.

Children are simply the future of our state, and they should be our priority. For this reason, I urge Oregon lawmakers to support HB 3073 so that the children of our communities have their best chance of future fulfillment and success.

Hannah Silver

Southeast Portland

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