Dems support accessible, affordable health care | Letters To The Editor

The goal of health care is better outcomes with maximum accessibility and affordability.

Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, MinnesotaCare, Tricare (VA), Medicare for All are working or workable programs that serve this goal. Medicare has worked successfully for 50 years, has overwhelming public support, and it’s a single payer system.

The Democratic Party supports these programs.

The Republican Party expresses outright opposition, or they try to cut back and cripple every one of them.

After passing tax cuts that mushroom the national debt, they plan to use the debt as an excuse for cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The GOP won’t even allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

They sabotaged mandated coverage for persons with pre-existing conditions under the ACA by ending the tax penalty for individuals not having insurance. If you don’t pressure everybody to have insurance, you don’t have a large enough pool of people to both cover persons with pre-existing conditions and to have more affordable premiums.

GOP alternatives to all these programs are either band aids at best or scams.

As a band aid, price transparency is useful. But achieving the goal of health care is much more complex than shopping on Amazon.

Health care savings accounts is another band aid — with a tax cut for the people well off enough to put money aside for them.

Selling insurance across state lines: It’s expensively difficult for reputable insurers to establish comprehensive network coverage in a new state and be cheaper competition as well; and it’s a schemer’s dream for unreliable insurers looking to make lots of quick bucks by avoiding Minnesota’s high standards.

Vote Democratic.

Ron Yezzi


Feehan’s part of new generation

Growing up in Red Wing, I was lucky to be surrounded by excellent role models who instilled strong Minnesota values in me. I took it for granted.

Today, I serve as a Boy Scout leader in Washington, D.C., and I often see my Scouts looking for role models in a city where few public figures exhibit the virtues of the Scout Law — that a Scout must be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

It is frustrating and disappointing when the leaders of our government fail to be leaders in character and civility; when they do not exhibit the same virtues we hope to instill in the next generation.

To whom are our youth supposed to look?

If there is one bipartisan agreement lately, it is that the level of discourse in our country has reached an all-time low. But we must not give up hope. There is a new generation of leaders who remind us why this country is so great.

And Dan Feehan is one of those leaders.

Max Behrens

Red Wing

Brand focuses on big picture

I have known Jeff Brand for almost a decade. I have seen first hand his great work ethic while working together.

He has always been a very knowledgeable and compassionate person. Brand is the same person in politics as he is in his everyday life. Whenever I see him or talk to him his first words are always: “How have you been?” even if it’s only been a few days since our last chat.

When someone cares about the big picture and just not his property taxes you know he’s the right person for the job.

Our area needs someone who’s looking out for the future generations and Brand is that person.

Eric Davis

North Mankato

Let’s not returnto pre-ACA market

In an interview with KEYC News 12 on Oct. 25, First District Congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn advocates privatizing health insurance and returning to a pre-Affordable Care Act health market.

In the pre-ACA market, private insurance carriers kept lists of declinable occupations such as logging, sawmill operating, firefighting, crop dusting, window washing and meat packing and processing. More widely known is the list of declinable pre-existing conditions. Included in the list of declinable pre-existing conditions is arthritis, cancer, obesity, congestive heart failure, diabetes, COPD/emphysema, pregnancy and sleep apnea.

The pre-ACA insurance market also had no guarantee of parity or equality of coverage between physical conditions/health and mental conditions/health. Insurance companies regularly did not cover mental health treatments at the same rate as they did physical health treatments.

Addiction is at the intersection of physical health and mental health concerns. The ACA extended coverage of in-and outpatient treatment at a time when addiction rates to opioid drugs and heroin are quickly and sharply increasing nationwide and here in Minnesota. The death rates have been increasing as well. In the United States, there were approximately 72,000 drug related overdoses.

To bring it closer to home here in Minnesota, the number of deaths related to fentanyl increased 74 percent from 2016 to 2017. Of the 172 synthetic-opioid related deaths, 156 of them involved fentanyl.

The need for treatment is great; now is not the time to remove its guarantee. It most certainly is not a time to return addiction to a declinable pre-existing condition.

Jim Hagedorn is a step backwards for Minnesota.

Peg O’Connor

St. Peter

Feehan cares about our future

Dan Feehan’s focus is on people and the future over corporate profit, party loyalty, fear of others and the failed policies of the past.

Feehan would welcome the immigrant with a robust guest worker program to address the needs for labor and a path to citizenship that is fair. He understands illegal immigration is caused by the lack of opportunities and safety in the refugee’s home country, and the solution is diplomacy.

Feehan believes we must use our military resources judiciously and not just have the biggest and costliest military possible.

He believes health care should be affordable to all and not be up for exorbitant profit. We need to improve on the successes of the ACA, not tear it down and go back to the failed system of the past. Citizens should be able to receive preventative care before the health issue gets big and expensive. We all pay higher premiums when the uninsured and very sick visit the emergency room.

Finally, Feehan understands we need to look to the future. He believes public education is the best road for America’s future. He knows, we need to invest in the system where the majority of our workforce will come from to do jobs that do not yet exist, not tear it down with gimmicks.

Feehan knows the future includes embracing the science that our climate is changing and our watersheds need help, because that future also includes better practices, healthier Minnesotans and high tech jobs for Southern Minnesota.

America’s greatest resource is its people and we are better when we build them up. Please support Feehan for Congress.

John Novak

New Prague

Zehnder Fischer known as friend

Michelle Zehnder Fisher has earned my vote.

I am privileged to have known Zehnder Fischer for the past 23 years and I am honored to endorse her for Nicollet County Attorney.

As a police officer for the city of St. Peter since 1992, I have had numerous opportunities to work with Zehnder Fisher. I can say without hesitation that she will receive my support in the upcoming election on Nov. 6.

Zehnder Fisher has dedicated her career to serving the citizens of Nicollet County. Her compassion for the community is evident in both her professional and personal life.

She has always been available and encouraged law enforcement officers to contact her anytime with questions or concerns they have. Many times I have contacted Zehnder Fisher after hours and she willingly provides assistance.

She reviews information from all aspects and makes decisions that are fair and competent. Her integrity and strong moral character has earned my respect and the respect of my colleagues.

Zehnder Fischer’s positive attitude and dedication has permeated the Nicollet County Attorney’s Office. Her entire staff also works very hard to in their duties to serve the citizens of Nicollet County.

I am proud to know Zehnder Fischer as a friend, civic leader and the Nicollet County Attorney. Please join me in re-electing her as our Nicollet County Attorney.

Paul Hagen

St. Peter

Dems will provide better-paying jobs

Those of us in the greater Mankato area have been fortunate to have DFL representatives who provided positive leadership in solving our problems and bettering our local, state and national communities. The DFL is currently fielding perhaps its best slate of candidates ever.

According to the Department of Labor, job creation and economic growth has been greater under Democrats. From 1980 to the end of Bush 43, all three Republican presidents combined produced 2 million less jobs than President Bill Clinton. President Obama created over 17 million jobs. By whatever measure you choose: the stock market, GDP growth, income growth, or national debt as percentage of GDP, the Democrats have done better since 1945.

If you want not just more but better-paying jobs, vote Democratic.

These midterm elections are crucial. Make no mistake, the free market will not provide universal and affordable health care, nor will it make college education more affordable. If you didn’t think the 2016 presidential election would matter, you have an opportunity to try to turn things around now. Young voters must get involved and get their friends involved in the political process. Their futures depend upon it.

In addition to the DFL incumbents, we have the opportunity to elect Tim Walz, someone we know and trust, as governor; Jeff Brand, a proven public servant for 19A; and Dan Feehan, the perfect successor to Walz in the 1st District.

Feehan is needed in Congress to help check President Trump, who may give in to his most dangerous impulses when he is exposed as a fraud, a cheat and a key conspirator.

Don Strasser


Hayes’ ideas goodfor city’s future

Bukata Hayes is decidedly the superb choice as the next mayor of Mankato. He has shown his leadership and dedication to this community as the executive director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council.

He is experienced in coordinating with many government agencies, community groups and individuals including personnel management. This is an extremely important issue as our current senior city management administration looks to retirement and replacement with required searches, deliberations and hiring as a member of the council team as Hayes is a calm, tenacious presence as he interacts with other councils’ executives and how they relate to one another.

His growth vision for Mankato is in line with the positive long term planning for the city. His fiscal abilities are supported by contacts with the state, and the local areas of government that have large budgets and similar issues that can aid our city in becoming the best city in which our growing children can find jobs that actually support a family comfortably without having to work two or more jobs per individual.

Hayes, in his work within the high schools, is the leader of the Shine Club. The club discusses different cultures helping students understand the importance of diversity. He is an excellent public speaker and wonderful role model for our youth with a strong voice for the Mankato citizens at the state and national levels.

We encourage you to vote for Hayes now in early voting or on Nov. 6. Most importantly, vote.

Shari ThofsonKagermeier

and Jeff Kagermeier,

former Mankato mayor

Seidl coaching will transfer to sheriff

We were new to the area, when with longtime residents Sheila and Dan Esser, we had the pleasure to meet Jason Seidl. Our sons had joined the local hockey and baseball teams that were coached by him and others.

Neither of our families had known Seidl before this as he wasn’t in our circle of friends.

We never know what to expect when we meet a new coach, but we were immediately impressed by Seidl’s approachability and genuine interest in bettering our children not only as athletes, but as people.

He constantly emphasizes the importance of the team over the individual player and demands players represent the team in their behavior and actions. He treats all players fairly by having the same expectations of everyone, and the star players and family friends don’t receive special treatment. Everyone is an equal and contributes to the success or failure of the team.

Additionally, he does a great job of giving feedback in a constructive manner to the children when they make mistakes but also gives praise when players perform well. Most importantly, Seidl possesses a high level of positivity that makes the team fun.

The traits he exhibits as a coach with the children and parents mirror the sentiments and accolades that have recently been expressed during this campaign by countless Brown County law enforcement professionals.

He is exactly who he presents himself to be, a man of integrity, who takes the high road as he is representing himself and the Brown County Sheriff’s Department as chief deputy.

Amy and Terry Rich

New Ulm

Brand would work hard for Minnesota

The best thing about Jeff Brand, candidate for state representative in District 19A, is his biscuits and gravy. He happens to also want to make Minnesota a better place.

Brand really appreciates his home — and I don’t just mean his house — his home is Minnesota. He lives here, he works here and for better or worse he vacations here. He values this home and its history and he’ll work hard to find the solutions that make it clean, safe, prosperous and welcoming.

We have problems in St. Paul and elsewhere, and above all they are communication problems. Brand is an investigator and an innovator who seeks out public input to better understand the options that work.

Whether it’s not understanding, not caring, or not investing the time, many politicians seem to be unable to allow other people’s concerns to influence their opinions. There’s a lot of stubbornness and finger-pointing. That’s not what you get with Brand.

He believes in our political system and he’s a hard enough worker to figure it out. He doesn’t ignore history, he takes inspiration from it.

Of course it would be a sacrifice for us. He wouldn’t be home as often to make biscuits and gravy, but it’s a sacrifice that we’re willing to make. Because who we choose is important.

When we pay attention we choose leaders who do the same. I believe that is the only thing that will rescue us from indifference and stagnation.

We’re a country that can get things done and Brand is one Minnesotan who would do just that.

Genevieve Brand

St. Peter

Feehan would keep president in check

In a recent advertisement, Jim Hagedorn states he wants to be elected to Congress because “our president could use a hand.”

Rather than lending President Trump a hand, we should elect Dan Feehan to Congress to help keep this president in check. According to a recent Associated Press article, “a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. imports are raising their costs and prices.”

An article published by Politico described how China is able to import soybeans and agricultural products from other countries, and U.S. farmers may never regain market share lost in the trade war.

Numerous articles in Rueters, USA Today, and elsewhere warn that Trump’s threatened tariffs on imported cars will cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs as well as price increases. After the reckless tax bill signed by Trump, the federal debt is projected by Statista to increase from $21.38 trillion in 2018 to $33.85 trillion by 2028.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget states “recent tax and budget deals will significantly accelerate” interest costs to quadruple between 2017 and 2028 to approximately $1 trillion. Interest will cost more than defense spending by 2024.

Our grandchildren will be paying this debt and the interest for decades to come.

Given this scenario we are able to see how Trump, according to Politifact, bankrupted six companies.

And Hagedorn wants to “lend a hand” to the erratic and irrational actions of this president. We cannot afford to send Hagedorn to Congress.

Please vote for Feehan, the best choice to represent Minnesota Congressional District 1 in Congress.

Glen Peterson


Lowry helps make city welcoming

I have had the pleasure of knowing Lucy Lowry since her first days as director of the North Mankato Taylor Library.

She made the library into a delightful, open and welcome place to visit. Any library patron will tell you that as mayor, she will do the very same for the city of North Mankato.

Jo Robbins

North Mankato

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