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August 29, 2014
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Letter: We could do a lot in Oregon with $26 million: pay 520 teachers or perform 175 elective surgeries

Prioritize use of Oregon money

The Oregon Medicaid program, better known as the Oregon Health Plan, recently decided that Oregon taxpayers should spend more than $26 million a year to try to change people’s genders. This is an outrage! The Aug. 15 article downplayed just how much money would be spent on this elective procedure when it phrased it as $150,000 each for 175 Medicaid patients.

Twenty-six million dollars would go a long way towards repairing and replacing crumbling schools. Twenty-six million dollars would hire 520 teachers. Twenty-six million dollars could resurrect our mental health facilities. Twenty-six million dollars would reopen hundreds of prison beds, or put 346 state troopers back on the road.

Every decision to spend money for something is a decision to take the money from someplace else. It may be argued that this money is only coming from the medical pool. If so, is this elective procedure more important than other lifesaving treatments that the state claims it does not have enough money to cover?

Individuals who are so frustrated with who they are that they desire to pump their bodies with hormones and cut off their private parts, these deserve our compassion. But is it compassionate to pay for a procedure that may create more problems than it cures?

That our state would make the decision to make an elective surgery like gender reassignment a higher priority than investing in our children, helping our mentally ill, keeping society safe from criminals, and saving lives is infuriating.

Carol Lovegren Miller


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The News-Review Updated Sep 16, 2014 08:02AM Published Aug 29, 2014 03:26PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.