Did Obama try to fix what wasn’t broken?

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 (when they would have discovered that they were either not covered for their illness, or that they would be dropped, or that their premiums would skyrocket). I’d like to state that this has certainly not been the case for our family. 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 premie 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 Affordable Care Act 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. I am confident that there are many others who can say the same.


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The president said we could keep our existing policies if we preferred them. If so many people preferred to do so, why did we need Obamacare?

If the administration cannot establish a website for people to register for Obamacare, how on Earth will it administer health care to the citizens of this country?


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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 Affordable Care Act, 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. (I almost forgot the spaghetti-dinner church fundraisers to aid families stuck with multi-thousand-dollar medical bills and no savings to cover it. This apparently alleviates the tender consciences of the regular churchgoer’s responsibility to the poor.)

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. Before Obamacare works as smoothly as other government programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, years could go by, but anything is preferable to what we have without it.

LEE PAULSON, Glenwood, Minn.

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State exchanges are working quite well. Republicans criticizing the slow rollout of the federal Obamacare online system are like the defendants who murder their parents and throw themselves on the mercy of the court, claiming to be orphans. About half the state governors refused to establish state exchanges for their citizens and refused to take Medicaid money. Effectively throwing a roadblock in the path of Obamacare registration, already proven successful at the state level, Republicans now criticize the federal online program, but provide no ideas of their own to help insure those in need.




Evidence from the field suggests high numbers

The Minnesota wolf hunt has generated considerable controversy. For the record, I’m neutral on the hunt. My only intent is to provide a data point coming directly from the field in northern Minnesota.

As a grouse hunter, I traveled hundreds of miles on gravel roads this fall, much of it walking. I couldn’t help noticing an abundance of scat on the roads and trails. A number of times, I saw a classic sign that it was left by a wolf: embedded deer hair. What is more amazing, however, was the frequency with which I saw wolf scat. I’m theorizing the wolves are using roads as their primary travel routes, since it is a much easier way to cover a lot of ground. I also saw a timber wolf up close while traveling in my vehicle, and a black wolf last winter while snowmobiling. We also hear wolves howling at night where we live on the Iron Range.

I’ve hunted grouse for nearly 50 years in northern Minnesota, and what I see is nothing short of an explosion in the wolf population.



Editor's note: A previous version of this article contained a letter referring to the issuance of moose-hunting permits. The state Department of Natural Resources has said that it will not allow further moose hunting unless the population of the species recovers.