., Associated Press
Readers write (July 7): Health care reform, mining, climate
- July 6, 2012 - 5:43 PM
HEALTH CARE REFORM
An open letter to President Obama:
I hope you will go on the offensive regarding "Obamacare" -- and soon. Republicans continue to blast the law in the wake of the historic Supreme Court decision affirming that it is constitutional. You and other Democrats apparently do not want to say much about a law that promises, at long last, to make affordable health care available to almost every American.
Mr. President, you should be proud of the Affordable Care Act -- and you should not allow the Republican misinformation campaign to dominate the national discussion. Please tell the American people, over and over, how the law you worked so hard to enact will benefit the entire country.
Should you fight hard for the law -- and still are defeated in November -- at least you will have stood up for the worthiest cause I can imagine.
If, however, Americans come to understand the law and its benefits, I believe a majority will support your bid for a second term.
FRED JOHNSON, MINNETONKA
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I am 18 years old, and I have had really bad asthma since I was 2. When I was 12, though, I started taking Advair and got my asthma almost completely under control. That was until two years ago, when the drug became too expensive for my family to afford.
Now, I know you're thinking "great, another sob story about some poor girl who couldn't afford health care." But that's the thing -- I do have health care. I'm covered under Medica by the company my dad works for, and supposedly it's good insurance. Except that I would have to pay $90 for just a month's supply of Advair. And that's just the copay!
The alternative to Advair is called Dulera, and we can barely afford it. It works fine except for one minor detail: It makes me shake like a crackhead. Seriously, people will comment to me that I look like I just took a heavy dose of speed. It even affects my work -- I work in a fast-paced restaurant environment, and it becomes very hard when I can't stop the shakes.
So maybe you aren't willing to hear how bad our health care system is, but at least think about this. I come from a middle-class family with health care, and I still can't afford the medicine that I need. Our health care system needs to change.
GENEVIEVE GLOBUS, MINNEAPOLIS
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As I crept along at a glacial pace recently in the security line at a U.S. airport, I had plenty of time to observe and analyze the screening process. The body scan took about three seconds. The concurrent baggage scan took about five seconds. Yet it took more than two minutes per person, resulting in a half-hour wait to get 15 people through. The amazing thing was that for two lines, there were 21 TSA agents. If this had been a private-sector operation with competition, where efficiency was key to survival, I have no doubt this process could have been optimized to take one-fourth the time with one-fourth the people. So tell me again: How is the government going to do a better job on health care than the private sector?
DON LACKNER, FRIDLEY
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Opponents' petition warrants scrutiny
When it comes to antimining antics, we at Mining Minnesota respectfully ask that everybody, and especially journalists, "dig" a little deeper into the facts.
As an example, look into the signatures of the antimining petition that former legislator Frank Moe so grandiosely delivered by dogsled to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Media outlets covered the 350-mile trek from Ely to the State Capitol in St. Paul. But, when it came time to dig into the substance, they seemed to have dropped their shovels.
•Various antimining groups claimed to have had 12,500 or more signatures, when in fact, after duplicate signatures were removed, they were more than 2,000 short of that mark.
•Seventy percent of the valid signatures weren't from the geographic area that will be most affected by the proposed mining projects. Forty-five percent came from the Twin Cities area, and 25 percent were from out-of-state.
•Several groups claimed the signatures were primarily from northeastern Minnesota. However, only 18 percent, or 1,805, of the signatures were from that region (the arrowhead region, including Duluth).
•Ely had the most signatures from the Iron Range, with 300. Isabella was next with 30. Babbitt barely made it into double figures.
•Core Iron Range cities had very few signatures: Virginia, 9; Chisholm, 6; Hibbing, 5.
•Aurora and Hoyt Lakes, the cities closest to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mining site, had just one signature each.
With the largest untapped mineral deposits in the United States, all of Minnesota has much to gain in jobs and tax revenues. We fully expect people to dig into our facts. We just ask that they do the same with the opposition's.
FRANK ONGARO; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MINING MINNESOTA
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Warmer? Yes, but maybe that's natural
One cannot discredit the science that has determined that the Earth is getting warmer, but I need someone to explain to me what caused the Earth to get warmer after the various ice ages it has gone through. What temperature would the Earth be if there were no people on it? During ice ages a million years ago or even a hundred thousand years ago, people were not causing the planet to warm, and yet it did, and has always done so. How is this time any different than any other heating and cooling episode? Could it possibly be that we have just gone longer without a natural occurrence that would cause the Earth to go into another cooling period or Ice Age? Maybe, just maybe, global warming is a natural occurrence and is unfolding as it should.
DOUG CLEMENS, BLOOMINGTON
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