It was journalistic objectivity and integrity that provided readers with the story of women who believe that Donald Trump as president deserves their support and encouragement (“Women for Trump hoping for change,” Jan. 19). All sides must have their voice. Yet, it was eye-opening, disturbing and even outrageous that one of the women interviewed finds the sexual abuse of women laughable.

This article gives voice to a segment of society that is optimistic a day before the inauguration, and that wishes to move forward with the president-elect. These women will celebrate on Inauguration Day. A day later, I look forward to the larger picture of how another segment of the population perceives sexual abuse — as the Women’s March begins in Washington.

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

• • •

Two front-page articles from Thursday’s Star Tribune: the first expressing the hope of women who were gathered for an evening of bingo — each a Trump supporter, each with high hopes for his presidency, and the second outlining the fact that the Trump team has been given 275 briefing papers of classified materials covering such things as North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, tension in the South China Sea and every other kind of threat the new presidential team could face in the first weeks in office. Three days before Trump takes office, his transition staff had barely engaged with the National Security Council.


Eileen Biernat, New Brighton


His commentary raises questions about his methodology, expertise

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis was guilty of major omissions in his Jan. 18 commentary “We’ve begun to treat our nation’s regulatory disease.”

Speaking of disease, he displayed the typical malady of those who bemoan governmental regulations. Despite being granted almost half a page of space, he didn’t give even one example of a regulation he would eliminate. I suspect he and others have been hesitant to list regulations, because if they would, ordinary citizens would immediately notice that specific regulations protect them from potentially harmful business practices.

Lewis rambles on to call for the elimination of Obamacare. Totally eliminating it would throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. With two major corrections, the Affordable Care Act would truly be affordable.

Significantly increase the penalty for not buying insurance, in order to increase the insured pool of relatively healthy participants. People are avoiding the mandate because simple math shows them it costs less in the short run to not join than it does to join. And if they ever have an urgent need for coverage because of an unexpected injury or illness, they can join and be immediately able to collect benefits. There obviously needs to be a period of delayed eligibility.

Conservatives like Jason Lewis constantly call for common sense. See above.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

• • •

Why bother having regulatory agencies at all? They are only staffed with subject-matter experts, and who needs experts when Congress can take care of anything? You know, like it did with the ACA replacement plan. Oh, wait …

Beth Goodwin, North Oaks

• • •

Perhaps Rep. Lewis, who writes like an expert in repealing Obamacare in his “first few weeks in congress” (his words, not mine), needs to read the Jan. 18 Business section, where UnitedHealth is reported to have posted nearly $200 billion in revenue in 2017 (“United ‘positive’ on post-ACA future”).

I worked as a hospital social worker for 29 years in Minnesota and saw firsthand the ethics of large insurance companies. I invite all who are so interested in changing laws to remember that these insurance companies make their income by cutting off coverage to the very sick, the disabled and the poor. What the insurance industry needs in Minnesota and nationally is an ethics overhaul. But, in the meantime, perhaps our freshman congressman might want to educate himself a bit before pontificating on a subject in which he knows so little.

Bev Luttio, Edina

• • •

Lewis decries the recent increase in premiums as his primary criticism of the Affordable Care Act. A major contributor to that increase was the risk-corridor restrictions that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and fellow Republicans slipped into a giant spending bill in 2015 that limited federal reimbursements to insurance providers. It’s ironic that many of those who now complain about ACA shortfalls sabotaged it to create them.

Paul Oman, Brooklyn Center

• • •

As the health care debate continues, there has been much criticism of the Obamacare initiative that has its proven shortfalls. How do we create an improved fair health care system affordable, effective and profitable for all participants involved? Is it even possible?

1) Insureds want comprehensive coverage at minimal cost. This includes reasonable premiums, low deductibles and copays, and quality coverage.

2) Insurers want adequate premiums to cover all losses and expenses, providing a respectable consistent profit.

3) Drug and medical-device companies want high prices to cover expenses, reward stockholders, and cover research and development costs for new products to grow and make more profits.

4) Medical employees command high incomes and benefits.

5) Hospitals and clinics need adequate income to maintain profitable operations.

6) Taxpayers want to pay low taxes that contribute to Medicare, Medicaid and charity care.

7) The uninsured need to be cared for.

8) Government tries to oversee (control) a workable system.

The task is enormous and will require sacrifice and compromise of all parties involved. We wait with great anticipation and hopefulness as the new administration finally gets its chance for improvement.

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis


Letter writer was underinformed

A Jan. 16 letter writer wondered who wrote Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech, suggesting that “her whole life has been one of just reading and acting out the words creative thinkers have written for her,” and that she “has never had a thought of her own.” I suspect the writer is unaware that Ms. Streep earned her undergraduate degree at Vassar College and her graduate degree at Yale University. Despite the writer’s contempt for her and her chosen profession, the woman is hardly a dolt. I’m quite confident that Streep is fully capable of articulating her own thoughts and feelings about current events.

Heather Lee, Centerville


One other explanation …

A Washington Post article (“Abortion at lowest level since 1973”) printed in the Star Tribune Jan. 18 says that the two main factors for the drop in the incidence of abortion are increased use of birth control and more restrictive state-level abortion laws. The article itself goes on to show how statistics don’t uphold the “restrictive laws” factor, so why is that even mentioned? And yet the article never addresses the simple possibility that the number of women who would choose abortion for their unintended pregnancy has dropped. Abortion can have severe physical and emotional repercussions, and there are women who are concluding that abortion may not be the simplest way to handle an unintended pregnancy. I am not on an anti-­abortion crusade here. But offering an explanation and disproving it, or omitting a simple explanation? Neither of those makes any sense at all.

Barbara Burchill, Winona, Minn.