It’s rude to question opponents’ integrity

One sentence in the Nov. 23 editorial (“ ‘Dead Man Walking’ and the case for ACA”) discredits the entire opinion. The Editorial Board writes: “Those who argue that the old health care system was fine don’t understand the deadly consequences of being a ‘medical have-not.’ ” No one — absolutely no one — thinks the old system was just “fine,” and to argue that anyone does think that way is disingenuous if not downright untrue. House Republicans passed several health care plans in their attempt to stop the government takeover of our health care system, and none of them were covered in any detail in the Star Tribune. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid prevented all of these bills from reaching the floor of the Senate for consideration.

The sentence following the “medical have-not “ sentence in the editorial was even more outrageous. The Editorial Board writes: “Or, even worse, they don’t care.” At the risk of sounding too radical for the Readers Write section, how dare the Star Tribune say such an awful thing about those of us who disagree with the methods of the Affordable Care Act. Argue the virtues of the ACA as you see them, but disparagement and lies about those who disagree is wearing thin.


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I disagree that the patient cited in the editorial will die because he is uninsured. A patient possessing no insurance is merely a symptom of the United States’ lack of commitment to health care for Americans under 65. Establishing guaranteed access to standard medical care for everyone under 65 is the best preventive medicine our politicians could ever deliver. The ACA is not a cure, because it will not guarantee health care to the poor; it simply enrolls them into the same flawed scheme of health “insurance” that has been driving costs up everywhere. Establishing guaranteed access to care is known as one-payer health care, a surefire cure for what ails our national health care chaos.

DIANE J. PETERSON, White Bear Lake



Renew the ban; like all criminal laws, it helps

A Nov. 23 letter arguing that a plastic gun ban would be ineffective was representative of the twisted logic that is commonly used by the gun lobby. The writer argues that criminals and terrorists would not be deterred by a ban from obtaining and possessing plastic guns, which are undetectable by X-ray and other scanners.

First, the current ban on such weapons, which is expiring, has been highly effective. Plastic guns are rarely found in this country. Were such weapons permitted here, we would see them showing up in schools, legislatures, courthouses, aircraft and other places where scanners have been used to protect our most sensitive institutions.

The argument by the writer is that even with a ban on plastic weapons, some criminals and terrorists will nevertheless find and use such weapons. Thus, suggests the writer, a ban on plastic weapons would be futile because it would not prevent every instance of criminality. By this logic, all criminal laws should be abolished.




Consumers deserve to have this information

Meat processors are resisting efforts to label meat to include countries of origin where beef, pork and poultry sources were born, raised and slaughtered (“Meat labels get specific despite resistance,” Nov. 23). I believe this knowledge is very important to healthy consumer choices.

During my insurance underwriting days, we canceled liability insurance on a group of U.S. rendering plants that sold rudiment as feed to other countries that allowed beef to eat beef rudiment, an unhealthy process disallowed in the United States. This was important, because that foreign meat was then sold back to this country! The meat from other countries may also lack the same level of controls on antibiotics and hormones as required by U.S. meat.

Consumers deserve to know the health quality of their food choices, and the minimal cost of expanded truthful labeling should be a nonissue.




A true understanding of ‘recovery’ is needed

State Rep. Brian Johnson wants to “protect Cambridge from future plans like this,” regarding the issue of where to locate sex offenders (Readers Write, Nov. 26). He speaks without the benefit of knowledge, as he asks and answers his own question: “Would we place patients undergoing treatment for alcoholism next to a liquor store? Of course not.”

As a licensed alcohol and drug counselor who works with alcoholics every day, and as an alcoholic in recovery for 19 years, I can state from experience that there are many treatment facilities next door to bars and liquor stores. There are many AA meetings that take place in the basement or attic of a bar. You see, it is not possible in our society to “protect” oneself from getting too close to booze, because it’s everywhere. Recovery is based on changed actions that cause changed thinking, not on finding a “safe” place to live and work. Johnson doesn’t speak from facts; he speaks from assumptions on a topic he obviously knows little about.

BOB SCHNELL, Chanhassen



What the U.S. can do for the world

Regarding Steve Chapman’s concluding remark under “The confidence man” (Nov. 22), I would rather the “promiscuous use of power” for the purposes of the improvement and positive encouragement of mankind rather than using the “forces of power” for the destruction and ultimate discouragement of mankind. If America, with its historic principles of democracy and potent engines of capitalism, is not the best weapon opposing autocracy, extreme socialism and poverty, which overwhelming “power” might Chapman propose? Indifference? Isolation? Insipidness?

WILL MARWITZ, St. Joseph, Minn.