I choose to believe that misinformation is the cause of public distaste for Obamacare.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Assessing the nature of the opposition
Justifying their effort to defund the Affordable Care Act and vowing to keep up the fight, Republicans cite polls showing that a majority of citizens dislike “Obamacare.”
While the scare tactics and misinformation have no doubt played a part in the acknowledged result, maybe another factor should be considered. Roughly 85 percent of Americans have health insurance, so many may feel they have nothing to gain and possibly something to lose if they, in effect, subsidize the others. They probably don’t realize they already subsidize the uninsured, at greater cost, in emergency rooms, etc. Also, a significant portion of the 15 percent choose not to buy health insurance, so the mandate is resented.
In other words, a significant majority of polled Americans are either misinformed or selfish. I choose to believe misinformation is the problem, and that as understanding increases, Americans will embrace “Obamacare.” And I sincerely hope the demagogues will give up a losing battle without further damage to the economy.
DARRELL EGERTSON, Bloomington
• • •
If only her concern were more cogent
Since I think it’s important to try to understand the thought process of people who think differently than I do, I read Katherine Kersten’s most recent column carefully (“Two Americas, because of liberal ways,” Oct. 20). I thought, for instance, that I might get a better understanding of the conservative desire to return to simpler times that were guided by a black-and-white moral code, and how the related adherence to certain principles may be the trigger for some conservatives’ unwillingness to compromise — on virtually any issue.
But rather than gaining insight, I was treated to an exercise in stretching logic to the preposterous, with the endpoint of pinning the blame for social and cultural evils on liberals. Supposedly, university, government, the media and nonprofit “elites” have selfishly banded together to promote a mushy set of values that has robbed poor people of their moral compass. She must have broken our secret code.
I could perhaps counter that conservatives, in turn, have waged a selfish, single-minded “war on the weak” by opposing any measure (breaking cycles of poverty, access to affordable health care and education, etc.) to help marginalized people fully participate in society. Of course, it’s nowhere near that simple or onerous, but it shows how gratuitous vilification escalates.
I found it heartwarming that Ms. Kersten is concerned about the plight of America’s underclass. Now I’d like to hear a cogent, fact-based argument on how conservatism — in today’s political context — benefits all Americans, not just the “haves.”
RICH COWLES, Eagan
• • •
After reading Kersten’s commentary, I came to an obvious conclusion. According to her stated statistics, if you want to raise the moral fiber of the poor in America, just do one thing — educate them
CONNIE NARDINI, St. Paul
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.