Please explain to me, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, or any of you, how 6,776 delayed responses to calls to 911 over a year is acceptable in this city (“Delayed responses by police were undercounted by 5,525,” July 31). These are the most important calls, mind you, such as domestic assaults, burglaries, shootings, etc. The cluelessness and insensitivity of this kind of thinking is mind-boggling!

Although adding 400 more police officers may not be possible currently, as has been proposed, it certainly appears that adding more would increase public safety. The reasoning behind the claim that “more officers wouldn’t have prevented the shooting at Crave” (which occurred in downtown Minneapolis on July 13 and injured two people) is spurious. Police officers don’t usually prevent crime; they respond to it. How would the Downtown Council, the mayor, the owners and those in the restaurant at the time feel if there was no response to the shooting because all officers were busy? I would guess that wouldn’t have gone over too well. Now think about the victims in those 6,776 calls who received no help in their situations, especially those who were victims of person crimes. Again, how is this acceptable?

I’ll bet my next year’s taxes on the fact that if a council member or their family or friend had an experience in which they badly needed a police response and there was none available, funds would be included in the budget for additional police personnel. Seems like it’s only important if it’s personal.

Jeanne Torma, Minneapolis

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

Lost in debate chaos: President can’t impose a health care system alone

The health care answer I’d like to have heard during Tuesday’s Democratic debates: “As president, I can’t impose a national health care system. I can state I believe health care is a human right, but even if I wrote a bill, created a plan, or promised the moon, Congress needs to be involved. So, I’d be willing to support Public Option A or B, Medicare for All or Medicare for More, or a New Improved Affordable Care Act. All of these programs are better than what we have today, but they have to be supported by Congress. If members of Congress would actually do their job, and work together on a plan, we may find a solution better than any of these ideas! As president, I would push and steer Congress to work on a bill that I would be proud to sign into law.”

But then, that answer wouldn’t have gained any debate points.

Rochelle Eastman, Savage

• • •

Lincoln said it best: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Russians don’t need to hack our elections — they only need to sow doubt, gin up the base among the wingnuts on the left and the right alike, and watch our democratic government destroy itself. In the 2020 presidential election, a small percentage of the electorate will determine 100% of the election. If a presidential ticket does not understand how its policies will impact Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, then it will not be elected.

That is why I believe U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the Democrats’ best bet to beat Donald Trump in 2020 ... preferably on the top of the ticket, but absolutely, positively, she must be somewhere on the Democratic ticket.

Hate the game, not the player. Trump is a symptom of an ailing political process, not the cause of it. If we want to create a more perfect union, we need a government that is just as responsive to the needs on Main Street as it is to the needs on Wall Street.

Benjamin Cherryhomes, Hastings

HEALTH CARE

To cut medical costs ... deny care?

In “Blues defends tougher review” (July 28), the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO claims that denying our doctors’ recommendations for our health is taking bold action to force change in a health care system that is unnecessarily expensive.

Why didn’t somebody think of that before? To bring down health costs, we should simply stop providing medical care! This will also provide more free time for our doctors and nurses and enable the ever-growing corps of health administrators to create more PowerPoint slides.

Another reason for denying care, according to CEO Craig Samitt, is that, if they do not, “Medicare for All is a very possible outcome.”

While the logic of that escapes me, it does give rise to another idea. What if health care were financed by an organization that did not have revenue enhancement (enabling high management salaries) among its top priorities? Rather, providing the health care recommended by our doctors would be the mission. Money would be saved through administrative efficiency (such as more moderate management salaries).

Oops. That would be Medicare for All and the CEO of our current revenue-hungry health insurer said we should not want that. Sacrebleu!

Joel G. Clemmer, St. Paul

• • •

For all of the enthusiasts of any Medicare/Medicaid for All program, please read the front-page article in the Tuesday Star Tribune called “Physician lambastes Medicaid decisions.” If you still think that this is the program for you, look forward to politicians deciding what kind of health care you are going to get based on party politics and the wishes of their campaign contributors.

Fine for you, but not for me, thanks.

The statement made by Department of Human Services Assistant Commissioner for Health Care Marie Zimmerman that the agency wants to hear suggestions from the public is laughable. The idea that a government agency will listen to the public when they won’t listen to doctor advice regarding care is a fantasy.

Let’s start using our brains to think through issues logically rather than handing over important personal decisions to politicians.

Rebecca Seidenkranz, Cannon Falls

DEMOCRACY

‘Representative assemblies’ are older than the Jamestown story

Shortly into an online article titled “Black Virginia lawmakers to boycott Trump’s Jamestown visit” (July 29, StarTribune.com) I found this statement: “Tuesday’s event in historic Jamestown [marked] the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere.”

I don’t know if that description is the author’s words or the words of the folks holding the commemoration. That being said, I would like to point out that once again, white people have rewritten history to put themselves at the center, ignoring the fact that there were, indeed, representative assemblies happening in the Western Hemisphere before their arrival: for example, Six Nations, also called the Iroquois Confederacy, which began between 1570 and 1600. The Haudenosaunee, as they call themselves, govern using a participatory democracy. Some believe that our founders drew inspiration from seeing how the confederacy was governed. Whether that is true or not, white people cannot claim to have held the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. This kind of casual rewriting of history does damage to both the accomplishments of our indigenous people but also to ourselves as white people. It is long past time to start seeing our history on this continent without the blinders of self-centered tale-telling.

Kathryn Kaatz, Minneapolis

We want to hear from you. Submit a commentary or a letter to the editor.