We've been told that most Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act -- and, indeed, a survey Thursday on MSN.com of some 120,000 people as of this writing indicated that 60 percent of those responding think the Supreme Court erred in blessing the act's constitutionality. I'm in the minority that supports the act and am mystified that it's a minority view.
What is the majority opposed to? Pushing coverage toward universal? Allowing kids to stay on parents' plans until 26? Covering preexisting conditions?
Before I retired, I had to have private health care, and my wife is a cancer survivor. I was paying almost $2,000 a month for coverage, and what I had (a COBRA continuation) was my only option. How can this make sense to anyone?
My guess is that the avalanche of negative ads opposing the ACA has made Americans behave against their own self-interests. And worse, many of the allegations against the act (for example, that it's a deficit raiser) fly in the face of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office position.
In other words, they are either misrepresentations or outright lies. We appear to be poisoning our own well.
JOHN HETTERICK, PLYMOUTH
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Many Minnesota conservatives are passionately bemoaning the ruling, and rightly so. Obamacare will be a monstrous drain upon our already overburdened economy. However, some of these same conservatives have no one to blame but themselves.
In 2008, some conservatives felt Norm Coleman was just "too liberal." The Constitution Party ran a Senate candidate that year, James Niemackl, whom many supported. Niemackl received 8,907 votes. Norm Coleman lost by 312 votes.
Do the math! If these same conservatives had voted for Norm Coleman, he would have been our U.S. senator. If he had been our senator, Republicans could have filibustered the vote on Obamacare, and it wouldn't have passed. I hold these 8,907 conservative voters directly responsible for Obamacare. (Maybe they can divvy up its cost among themselves.)
Whom you vote for does matter! This year Minnesota conservatives have the opportunity to (a) support the Republican Party candidate for president, and help defeat Obamacare, or (b) make the same mistake they made in 2008, and either sit out this election or vote for a fringe candidate. For the good of our country, let us hope they can learn from their mistakes.
LARRY THOMPSON, PLYMOUTH
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It's official. The Supreme Court has decided that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional. Great. Now I can legally go out and lie about all the military medals I have received, at the local cantina tonight.
Quite an accomplishment, since I have never served in the military. Boy, won't the ladies be impressed with me when I tell them I have been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor. And I can even show them the medals (which I just bought online yesterday for 30 bucks).
What a slap in the face to all the soldiers, past and present, who paid a heavy price for their rightful military awards. I know the law of the land now says it is legal to lie, but that does not make it right.
My father is probably rolling over in his grave today.
NEIL F. ANDERSON, RICHFIELD
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It's a good idea to read the actual proposed amendment on voter ID. There are minor discussion points that would be clarified; for example, the fear that a passport could not be used for ID seems to be allayed by the provision that calls for "a valid photographic identification as prescribed by law."
Unless some other law prevents it, this sounds as though a passport would qualify. Most of us don't know whether there is such a law.
More important, because the state Constitution is so permanent a document, is it wise to prescribe only a photographic ID?
Technology keeps changing, and it's quite probable that, in our generation, the state will be using some other means of ID. Certainly, already other entities use other technologies for ID, from iris scans to electronic fingerprints.
"As prescribed by law" is a pig in a poke. "Photographic" is a hallmark of hasty drafting.
GORDON C. KRANTZ, BLOOMINGTON
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I applaud the letter writer who encourages a positive attitude about voter ID and states, "The requirement for ID is no violation of your person. Rather, it is an identification of your person, saying: 'I am.' The letter advises us to "be proud to vote and stand by that hard-fought right."
However, an individual already has many, many ways to say "I am," not the least of which is to actually say it to anyone and everyone within earshot.
But we also have Social Security Numbers (SSN) which, for most of my life, were not to be used as IDs and then became virtually the only ID for all governmental agencies and many businesses. In fact, it's the only ID nearly everyone already has.
Why not have election judges ask the voter, as most businesses do, "What are the last four numbers of your SSN?" They can then check it against a list of voters in that precinct that only has voters' last four numbers and their correct address. No photo needed. Let the government bureaucrats change the precinct voter lists and stop pestering all good people.
KEVIN DRISCOLL, ST. PAUL
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A June 28 editorial incorrectly stated that both Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and Mayor R.T. Rybak support Canadian-style gun registration. Rybak does not advocate that specific approach; rather, his focus is on cracking down on illegal guns.