I write in response to the June 6 letter writer who argued against “Medicare for All” (“‘Medicare for All’ is not the solution,” June 6). After more than 30 years working in health care, I know firsthand what it’s like to stand face-to-face with patients of all ages and explain that they do not have adequate coverage. I’ve seen farmers, people in wheelchairs, moms holding children, and all ages of men and women leave a provider’s office without being seen. They are some of the most disturbing memories I have and I wonder if the writer has been in that eye-level position?

Insurance elites often scare people into believing that it’s not possible to have Medicare for All. They use phrases like “serious impacts” and say government programs limit care and choice and underpay doctors, clinics and hospitals. They never forget to scare greater Minnesota folks by saying that in rural Minnesota, doors will close and doctors won’t get paid. The writer says that in his ideal, “health care will be customized and tailored to individual patients.” It’s much too late for that fairy tale.

Here’s some of what will happen with Medicare for All: Negotiating will begin, providers will be paid fairly, choice won’t be an issue because all providers will be in-network, and doctors and nurses will have more time to care for their patients.

If we could get Medicare up and running within a year in the 1960s, we can get Medicare for All set up faster with even better computer systems today. We all need affordable health care access, and we have a solution.

Valerie Swenson, Little Canada

The writer is a member of Health Care for All Minnesota and is a leadership team member of the Roseville Area Advocates for Minnesota Health Plan.

NEWSSPEAK

Use past tense for the past. And for Pete’s sake, stop starting with ‘so.’

So, who knew that commentary writer Claude Peck was a mind reader? (“Breaking news now: Past tense goes missing,” Opinion Exchange, June 7.) I’ve complained for years about the local TV news, which I no longer watch, constantly using the present tense for things that already happened. And “so” is so prevalent on National Public Radio that you just have to assume it’s the correct way to start a sentence.

I sincerely hope that the most trusted source of legitimate and in-depth news doesn’t start adopting the present tense way of reporting, or my 30-plus-year membership will be on the chopping block. Now, if only the Star Tribune writers were allowed to write paragraphs of more than one sentence…

Corey Sevett, Minneapolis

IMMIGRATION

Saying ‘no’ is not a viable policy

Just saying no to immigration from South American countries is not an immigration policy. Building walls and razor-wire fences is not policy. Creating economic chaos to put the burden of immigration on many people is not policy.

I suggest that we acknowledge our history of involvement creating the need for South Americans to flee their countries. Under former President Ronald Reagan, we supplied Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt with arms and financed his troops. Montt was convicted of genocide of the Guatemalan people. We have continued to support U.S. business interests with minimal to no assistance to create a free and just society. Now Trump wants to decrease funding in support of Guatemala as a response to people seeking to flee poverty and violence.

Do we really expect Mexico to solve a problem that we have been significantly implicated in creating?

Do we really want one man, Donald Trump, to decide this issue by creating economic chaos (tariffs) for so many?

I think we are better than this. We must have somebody in Washington who has the moral fiber to recognize our past role in South America and create a fair and just immigration policy. To continue with fear mongering and just saying no is beneath us.

Varick Olson, Roseville

HISTORICAL PRESERVATION

Before we tear down an old church, think: What would the Germans do?

The German Immersion School’s plan to tear down the former St. Andrew’s church and replace it with a gym and classrooms (“Building denied ‘historic’ tag,” June 6) begs the question: What would the Germans do? I was recently in Germany and while that country, like ours, has seen record numbers of churches close because of dwindling attendance, the Germans creatively reuse religious structures for a variety of recreational, cultural and educational purposes. And when they do tear down distinctive churches, the Germans often replace them with well-designed new buildings. What they generally don’t do is what the German Immersion School plans to do in St. Paul: tear down a perfectly good building — with land to either side of it capable of accommodating its additional space needs — and replace it with a really bad design. Immersion in Germany’s design culture might do this school some good.

Thomas Fisher, St. Paul

LEFT-LANE DRIVING

New law is an ineffective catch-22

I have two comments about the left-lane drivers law (“New law hits slow left-lane drivers,” front page, June 5).

First, it seems really strange to write a law where a driver can simultaneously be ticketed for driving too fast and for driving too slow.

Second, people think this will reduce road rage? People who felt entitled to drive 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit expressed rage at people driving 5 mph over the speed limit while in the left lane before this law. How does anyone think those entitled people will express less rage now that there’s a law in place saying drivers not going 10-15 mph over the speed limit must move over in specific situations?

Mark Wentz, Rochester, Minn.

CLIMATE CHANGE

We need to move on from cars. This means not building parking lots.

I completely agree with the argument in the counterpoint from May 31 titled “To save the planet, we have to get over cars.

The Minneapolis 2040 Plan is moving in the right direction on reducing emissions. We have heavily used streets downtown as commuters try to avoid other bottlenecks on West River Parkway, 1st Street North, 3rd Avenue North heading to and from Interstate 394. These are parking lots as traffic moves slowly for roughly two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening during the rush hours.

All of this traffic idling creates pollution.

These conditions are very similar to reasons why the city of London and other cities decided to implement low and ultra-low emission zones. Minneapolis, as a C40 city trying to address climate change, needs to be thinking about such a change.

The current proposal by the Federal Reserve Bank to add a parking ramp for 800 cars in its campus runs counter to all the pollution reduction goals in the 2040 and C40 plans.

The counterpoint states “the slower we reduce the emissions, the more difficult the path to a stable future becomes.” This is a 30-plus-year decision for this parking ramp — with that in mind, the bank’s proposal needs to be rejected.

Tom Mallon, Minneapolis

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