In light of the U.S. House passage of the health care bill, I have only one thing to say to those who wrote the bill, voted for it and worked to get the bill into law: Thank you. PATRICK FREESE, ST. LOUIS PARK

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I read with amusement that President Obama triumphantly announced that the passage of the House health care bill was what "change" really looks like. If you want to see what change really looks like, check the results of the coming November elections. CURTIS E. EVERT, BRAINERD

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I've been living with a chronic illness for 35 years. President Obama and Congress have given me hope by delivering on their promise of change. ANNE M. HOOPS, MINNEAPOLIS

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"Free" health care is now law. One thing I was taught early in life was that nothing is free. We will see taxes rise and employment stagnate due to lack of investment from people whom this bill shall now tax and from corporations that already are encumbered by the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world. While those behind the bill bask in the warmth of their victory, I offer this for consideration: We are all in this together. While those on the right are not elated, those on the left surely will experience the error of their ways when this bill locks in full force by 2014. RICHARD O'BRIEN, ALBERTVILLE

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Finally life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can apply to all Americans. Life: The sick will be able to receive care. Liberty: Those stuck in a job for fear of losing their medical insurance can now change jobs or start a business. Pursuit of happiness: Citizens will no longer be one injury or one disease away from bankruptcy and the loss of their homes and their dreams. JIM STATTMILLER, MINNEAPOLILS

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R.I.P. U.S.A., July 4, 1776 -- March 21, 2010. THOMAS SLUPSKE, CRYSTAL

tea party protests

Movement health care spawned sparks debate

To Tea Party activists and your Republican allies: Thank you for pointing out clearly this weekend what you are really about, and for showing us that the debate over health care is really not about health care at all ("GOP: Protesters' slurs 'reprehensible,' March 22). Instead you are about hate. Hate of people who are not white, or who have disabilities, or who are poor and cannot afford health insurance. And hate of a government that actually wants to help Americans. Thanks again for helping us pass this historic bill. And thank you for clarifying your role. We will remember it at the polls in November.


• • •

A million Tea Party patriots showed up in Washington in September, and President Obama has yet to admit they were there. This past Sunday, thousands who want to legalize illegal immigrants showed up in Washington, and Obama greeted them with a reassuring video.



Tragedy shows the need to toughen state's laws

Every day I see people driving with a cell phone in their hands and their attention at half capacity. I can spot them from a mile away, cutting people off while changing lanes without signaling, running red lights and crawling along in their lanes well below the speed limit. It's unimaginable how many accidents they've caused. Why is it not illegal? Maybe now, after the death of an infant, our lawmakers will take more action ("Cops: Tot killed as driver gets cell phone," March 20).


joe mauer

Signing shines in challenging times

Amid all the hectic news about health care and rising rivers, there is good news: the signing of Twins catcher Joe Mauer ("Relax, Twins fans: Our Joltin' Joe stays," March 22). What's special about it is that Mauer respects the organization and fans enough to want to stay here for years. If ever there was a young man with class, it's Joe Mauer. Way to go, Joe: You are definitely the player to inaugurate the new Target Field.


gophers basketball

Want to build a winner? Look to Northern Iowa

I agree with Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith and Athletic Director Joel Maturi that there are ways the team can improve. But before the U spends any more taxpayer money on another sports facility or signs another athlete who doesn't qualify academically, I would suggest a trip down to Cedar Falls, Iowa. Apparently the Northern Iowa Panthers have found a way to solve recruiting and facility problems.


comic comments

As years pass, 'Family Circus' will enlighten

From a senior to the young letter writer critiquing the comics on March 20: Clip six copies of "Family Circus" and "Dennis the Menace." Find a safe place to pack those away for 20 years, and then read them. Here's to your future enjoyment.