The year in letters 2013: Health care

  • Updated: December 31, 2013 - 6:15 PM

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Health care


Reviews mixed for MNsure

For the past four-plus years, I have paid more than $1,100 per month for health insurance. I am retired and live on a fixed income of Social Security and life savings. With a bit of effort and some bumps, I am an approved member of MNsure, and that will mean a savings of $600 per month. My new policy has a $100 deductible vs. $800 under my previous plan.

The copays are less, and the 80/20 coverage the same. Did I have some difficulty getting a profile on MNsure? Yes, but when I got help from a free navigator, the process was made easy and ultimately successful. I had more trouble buying online on Black Friday.


It’s employer vs. employee

Picture this scenario: You’re driving and obeying all traffic laws, when suddenly someone runs a stop sign and T-bones your car, leaving you severely injured and in trauma. The good news: An ambulance arrives quickly and soon you are stabilized and will recover. The bad news: Your employer is headed by a Jehovah’s Witness and, due to a Supreme Court ruling, does not have to provide insurance covering blood transfusions since Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions (“Religion as a sword in the ACA debate,” Dec. 1). This is a dangerously slippery slope. Do we really want corporations dictating their religious beliefs to their employees?


Obamacare wasn’t necessary

I take issue with the assertion by President Obama that those with private insurance may have believed they had good insurance until they got sick. We’ve had the same insurance for almost 30 years and have always been served very well by it. This included helping pay for a preemie baby (which was very costly), filing claims for accident injuries that occurred out of state, and covering unexpected hospital stays. Never in those 30 years were we denied payment or dropped from our coverage, nor did we receive an increase higher than a reasonable amount each year.

Now, unfortunately for us, the insurance for my husband and me is increasing considerably due to the ACA and has been dropped totally for our 26-year-old daughter, who found a very affordable plan of her own. So I’d like the president and our senators and representatives to know that what was in place was working for our family.


Americans: Short on patience

Traditionalists are always frightened by fresh or adventurous ideas and immediately erect barricades. Instead of making efforts to evaluate a new program objectively, they unleash a storm of criticism that dispenses with all rational thinking. This was the original fate of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and so it is with the ACA, enacted to alleviate some of the many inequities that existed under a system in which the rich could buy ample insurance and those who could not afford it faced the threat of bankruptcy because of an illness.

There are always snags to be worked out in any program that involves millions of U.S. citizens, but instant perfection is expected even by those who support such a plan. Patience is not an American virtue.

LEE PAULSON, Glenwood, Minn.

As IT project, it was doomed


    With the help of news researchers Sandy Date and John Wareham, we’ve compiled excerpts of letters to the editor on topics that drew the most response last year. Enjoy, and keep sharing — in 250 words or fewer — by using the “Submit a letter or commentary” link or via e-mail to

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  • 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.

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