Obama insufficiently sold his needed reform
President Obama’s major flaw as a leader is that he consistently fails to explain his policies even when they are under heavy bombardment by his opponents. Then at the last minute he releases a blitzkrieg attack that is too late to win a clear-cut victory. Obamacare is a case in point.
First, it should be made perfectly clear to the public about how essential a successful health care program is to the entire nation. Millions are falling into bankruptcy because of astronomical medical bills for catastrophic procedures. The current solution of spaghetti-supper fundraisers to aid such families is only a Band-Aid.
Second, the public must be made to understand that, like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, the Affordable Care Act must be funded by everyone’s tax dollars or it cannot possibly work. It has been endorsed by doctors and insurance companies as the only system acceptable to them. Yet a large segment of the population behaves as if something better may come along.
There are snags aplenty to be worked out over time, but we have already experienced some of the benefits. Repealing the act or refusing to fund it, as the madcap Tea Party would have it (with nothing to put in its place), does not bode well for our nation.
LEE PAULSON, Glenwood, Minn.
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Our experience with the palliative approach
I was drawn to the Sept. 20 commentary by Kathy Butler regarding end-of-life counseling (“Why few of us get to die peacefully at home”). I was particularly affected by this description: “Palliative care focuses on alleviating suffering, improving quality of life and giving the entire family comfort, honest information and support, rather than avoiding tough conversations and continuing to try to fix the unfixable.” That is the support my daughter, Sue, and I recently received from the Palliative Care Team at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.
Sue and I were introduced to the concept of palliative care when my wife, Mary, unexpectedly became critically ill and passed away after a 30-day stay at Methodist Hospital. In the last few days of Mary’s life, Sue and I were visited by a team consisting of physicians, nurses and chaplains. They spent many hours over several days counseling us on her illness, prognosis and treatment options. They stressed the importance of having my wife participate, to the extent possible, in the decision regarding her final hours. With the help and encouragement of this incredible team, we were able to elicit Mary’s wishes, deal with our own personal doubts, and make important decisions with confidence and peace. The palliative team was present at her death and followed up with a sensitive, personalized note of sympathy to Mary’s family.
We will be forever grateful. The Palliative Care Team acted with sincere, loving compassion for Mary and her family and added true meaning to our lives.
KEN WOLF, Rosemount
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Our experience with finding right housing
Gail Rosenblum has it right in her Sept. 26 column. In housing people with disabilities, one size definitively does not fit all. I serve on the Arc Greater Twin Cities board and have an adult daughter with a developmental disability. Lacking housing options for her, my wife and I started a nonprofit and created a 33-unit condominium in Robbinsdale that is now owned and managed by Project for Pride in Living.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.