My blood boils when I see outright falsehoods being presented as fact, as was the case in a June 13 letter claiming that the new Congressional Budget Office estimate indicated that Obamacare would add a trillion dollars to our national debt.
In fact, the CBO still maintains there will be a reduction to our national debt by billions of dollars over 10 years. In addition, if the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) were struck down by the Supreme Court, our budget deficit would increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade.
To reach his misleading conclusion, the letter writer speaks only of the cost and ignores the additional savings and revenue generated by the Affordable Care Act. He then uses the word "blackmail" in describing how the Obama administration negotiated with pharmaceutical companies in an effort to gain their support.
In fact, when discussions were taking place prior to the passage of Obamacare, President Obama voiced his support for allowing Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate prices for drugs with pharmaceutical companies.
This had been prohibited by the Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act, passed by a Republican-dominated Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. Does wanting to save government money for prescription drugs seem like blackmail to you?
It sure doesn't to me. But these lies, distortions and character assassinations will continue until the news media and we citizens start holding the perpetrators accountable.
WARREN BLECHERT, EXCELSIOR
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Regarding "Romney fleshes out health care plan" (June 13): Pass the buck -- turn Medicaid and other federal health programs into block grants for the states. Offer tax incentives -- like those enjoyed by large businesses, for individuals and small businesses that purchase health insurance for their employees. So how useful will tax incentives be for people who already pay very little taxes because their income is so low and their expenses so high?
Romneycare would retain the provision under which those with preexisting health conditions would be able to purchase insurance. But how would it make sure that insurance companies would be able to afford that, unless the pool of purchasers were large enough to spread the costs around?
That's the whole point of the individual mandate -- which by the way, insurance companies support. Wouldn't an "experienced and highly successful business executive" recognize the need for that? Of course, there is always the option to charge as much as necessary for insurance to stay profitable.
How much would such insurance cost? Could those in the middle 60 percent of the income distribution purchase it?
Finally, how would Romneycare deal with those individuals who don't buy insurance but who by accident or disease will die unless they get expensive care?
A highly vocal number of members of the audience at one of the Republican primary debates suggested: "Let them die!" Another solution could be that the costs of their care would be spread among the "pool" of those who purchased insurance and the costs incurred by the hospitals.
Pass the buck: That's the Romneycare solution.
KEITH D. BUCKLEY, ROSEVILLE
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Tim Turner ("Please, a little understanding for ... CEOs," June 9) asks at what point does a small company (good) become a large corporation (bad). The answer is, it's not about size. It's about behavior. It's about how the company treats its employees. It's about people.
Scrooge and Marley, a company of just two people, is a bad company because of the way that Ebenezer Scrooge treated his only employee. I recall an instance in which a company of about 1,000 employees was destroyed by fire. The CEO and owner of the company kept everyone on the payroll during reconstruction. That was a good company, or more accurately, a good man as CEO.
It's not the company that matters at all. It's the moral fiber of the people at the top that makes the difference. When management engages in laying people off for a short-term rise in stock price or decimates pensions or does any of the other things that value profit over people, the company has become what is bad about American corporations, regardless of the company's size.
DAVID M. PERLMAN, NEW HOPE
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We were returning from Milwaukee to Eagan late Sunday afternoon and noticed several miles of stopped traffic on Interstate 94 heading to Madison. Later, I read that there had been a six-hour tie-up last week on I-94 near Hudson.
The situation we observed on Sunday indicated that there were patrol cars at the crossovers to keep people from illegally making U-turns to get out of the jam. That's pretty cruel.
Why couldn't the patrol set up a bypass to one lane on the other side (yes -- it will slow the other direction traffic) from the crossover before the problem to the one after the problem? At least everyone could be moving in a positive direction, with some inconvenience to all.
MAX WAGNER, EAGAN
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I have a summer proposal for Minneapolis: Hire some of our local high school and college computer whiz kids to reprogram the traffic lights in the city. The kids will be gainfully employed; drivers will spend less time idling at ill-timed lights, and the environment will be better off with fewer toxic emissions. We all win!
MICHAEL BURAKOWSKI, GOLDEN VALLEY