What's the downside?

Let's see, Indian tribes are using money earned at their casinos to buy land across the county ("Reclaiming a lost legacy," May 4). That land, which was the tribes' originally, is being renewed and restored to its native state. This has the potential to slow down development and save land and species of animals.

This is one American who supports their "buy back America" plan!



Bucking its principles

By denying a student's request to fulfill her volunteer service requirement at Planned Parenthood (Star Tribune, May 2), the University of St. Thomas betrays its own mission to "educate students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good."

The student was trying to do good in the community by working to stem sexually transmitted diseases.

By holding fast to rigid, dogmatic Catholic doctrine, UST also betrays its own stated "Convictions," one of which says the school "values the fundamental compatibility of faith and reason and fosters meaningful dialogue directed toward the flourishing of human culture."

Where was the dialogue in making this decision? In fact, law school Dean Thomas Mengler closes off dialogue when he states that he'll talk to the student but his "decision is final."

For UST, faith apparently takes precedence over reason.




The wrong direction

In Lori Sturdevant's April 19 column regarding the health care bill ("Business voices are crucial in reform of health care"), General Mills Vice President of Communications Thomas Forsythe decried Minnesota Majority's claim that the bill will "create new layers of government bureaucracy, add thousands of people to taxpayer subsidized health plans, grant government access to private medical records and intrude into personal health care decisions." Forsythe accused us of promoting "misinformation." But one need only read the 100-plus-page bill to see that our claims are accurate.

There are no fewer than six new government bureaucracies created as a result of this bill. Other regulatory mandates strewn throughout it imply expansions in existing government agencies. The bill will increase enrollment in government welfare health plans by raising eligibility income limits to 300 percent of poverty guidelines ($60,000 a year for a family of four). The bill even pays a bounty to organizations that recruit enrollees to become dependent upon welfare-like health plans.

Government agencies are granted access to private patient medical records in a variety of areas throughout the bill. And there's a provision that empowers the government to designate uniform health insurance benefits, thereby micromanaging an enrollee's treatment options. Other provisions in the bill call for bureaucrats to determine which procedures are "cost effective" and will be covered.

The bill outlines aggressive coverage goals clearly intended to move Minnesota toward a government-mandated universal health care plan.

This bill moves Minnesota in exactly the wrong direction. We need only look to Canada to see how "big government" health care is failing miserably. Real health care reform can only be achieved by reducing, not increasing, government involvement. Measures such as reducing government-imposed insurance mandates, eliminating government restrictions that prevent out-of-state providers from competing for our health insurance business and putting patients back in charge of making their own health care decisions are common sense solutions that will provide real cost savings to Minnesota families.



court rules on voting ids

Addressing possible fraud

Did U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison actually listen to the whole argument on the voting case before the Supreme Court ("High court deals blow to voting rights," May 6)?

The voting issue was brought up to assure law-abiding citizens that their votes would not be affected by possible voter fraud. It doesn't matter if fraud was previously prevented.

Free IDs are available in Indiana, so there was not undue hardship for the poor or elderly -- regardless of what Ellison claims.



The horse in the photo appearing with Tuesday's Letter of the Day was misidentified. It was Big Brown.