The Oregonian has printed a series of letters to the editor in response to the Portland Trail Blazers' naming rights deal with Moda Health to change the name of the Rose Garden to the "Moda Center."
A number of the letters come from Moda Health subscribers. A few of their (condensed) thoughts follow.
It is reprehensible that my dental insurance company, Moda, makes so much money from our premiums that its executives think it acceptable to gift a reported $40 million (over 10 years) to the Portland Trail Blazers, owned by one of the richest men on the planet. ... That estimated $4 million in annual payments would be better spent on our public schools.
TOM BEAMAN, Gresham
Moda Health can't afford to pay for a simple blood test to determine my allergies and can't afford to pay for the prescription my doctor insists I use for cholesterol control, but it can afford a reported $40 million for the naming rights to the Rose Garden. I'm pretty sure I am not the only Moda policyholder with these same questions or concerns.
Because I am a Trail Blazers fan, in lieu of providing the medical insurance coverage that Moda says it will provide, maybe the good folks at Moda would provide tickets to a couple of games. At least then I'd get something out of this deal. Of course I won't know if what I eat at the game is something I'm allergic to because I couldn't get the required blood test.
RICK CRONE, Salem
I am a terminal cancer patient. My insurance company, formerly ODS, is now Moda. Last week I received notice that Moda would no longer pay for one of my prescriptions on the same day I read that it reportedly paid $40 million to have its name on the Rose Garden. I just hope the company doesn't decide it needs more advertising.
RICK HULETT, Hood River
The Blazers officially announced the name change earlier this month. The name change, the first since the building opened in 1995, is effective immediately.
Here's a transcript of the introductory press conference held by Blazers president Chris McGowan and Moda Health president Dr. William Johnson.
McGowan took questions on the name change right here.
The initial reaction on Twitter to the news was pretty ugly.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales called the name change a "head scratcher."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter