Readers’ Views

Public buy-in still costs

To the Editor:

Yesterday my opponent discussed her desire for affordable health care. What she did not say in the letter, but has previously stated, is that her “affordable” solution is public buy-in for Minnesota Care. 

That idea requires at least $17 billion in tax increases – and that’s just to get things started. Even if one wants to dispute the exact number, there is no arguing that to massively expand an already expensive government program, there will be tremendous cost. Someone is going to have to pay for that. The only option is hardworking taxpayers, whether they want it or not. We’ve been down this road before. 

This public buy-in idea is being promoted by the same liberals that forced Obamacare and MNsure on us. As you know, it’s been a disaster. We’ve spent hundreds of millions on this program and watched rates skyrocket by double digits for years until Republicans stepped in last session and passed reforms to bring costs down.

Remember their promises? “If you like your plan you can keep it!” “Families will save $2,500!” None of that was true, as those who were forced onto MNsure got stuck with high premium costs, outrageous yearly deductibles, and in many cases, lost access to their longtime doctor.

Even after the plan didn’t live up to its promises, the DFL wants to not only continue this approach, but double down on government-run health care and claim that it’s “affordable.”

One additional thing that has not been mentioned about the public buy-in, besides the fact that it could bankrupt our state, is that it will close even more rural hospitals and clinics because the reimbursement rates will be so low they would not be able to keep their doors open.

My opponent also bashed the reinsurance bill I helped approve that has lowered premium rates for two years in a row. This is interesting since our senior U.S. Senator and top Democrat in the state, Amy Klobuchar, said this about our work: “Our legislature, on a bipartisan basis, working with our governor was able to come up with some good things like reinsurance and cost savings that made it easier for people with premiums.” 

And as far as health insurance competition being a bad thing, as a former grocery store owner, I can confirm that competition is great news for the customer, as the seller must provide a better product at a better price to earn that person’s business. 

My opponent believes that Obamacare was a good plan. But she was not receiving calls from citizens who could no longer afford their healthcare. Yes, they were given policies, but the $36,000 per year policy plus a $6,000 deductible meant they needed to pay $42,000 out of pocket before getting anything from their insurance. I have never had an issue with so many constituents in serious difficulty as with Obamacare.

You know me. For years, I’ve worked tirelessly with Republicans and Democrats on issues that will make your lives better. Health care is no exception. In addition to lowering premiums on the individual market last year, I also approved laws that ended surprise billing, strengthened care network access, and brought more competition into the marketplace. 

We’ve finally begun to turn things around. There’s more work to be done, and I’m ready  to approve more common-sense health care solutions that won’t empty your wallets, while continuing to make your health care more affordable. I humbly ask for your vote on November 6.

Bob Gunther

Minnesota State Representative


Klassen knows

To the Editor:

Heather Klassen knows what affects our lives in rural Minnesota and that is why I am proud to support her. Heather was born and raised in rural Minnesota, and she knows the value of hard work and independence that makes this a great place to live and raise a family. She embodies the spirit of community service and she puts that to work every day helping Minnesotans find affordable health insurance via her work as an independent insurance agent. Because of this work, she understands the struggles and challenges with which we are faced.

Heather’s life experience has shaped her drive to help her community. She understands that we may not always agree with each other, but that if we come together with mutual respect and a commitment to listen and understand, that we can build common sense solutions. This helps ensure that our Southern Minnesota way of life can continue for the next generation.

Most importantly, Heather knows that every Minnesotan has a right to affordable healthcare, and that rural hospitals and nursing homes need to stay open, because without healthcare, our communities cannot succeed. Healthcare is critical to making sure that our family farmers, the backbone of Southern Minnesota, can live and work right here, and help train the next generation of farmers. Heather knows that we need to implement fair regulations that protect the environment while also, not handcuffing our farmers. Heather knows that to make a strong classroom, we need strong schools, so that our children are prepared for life beyond the classroom, because every child deserves a good education.

We need a strong voice for rural Minnesota and someone who will work hard for all of us, and that is why I’m proud to support and vote for Heather Klassen.

John G. Huisman

Blue Earth

Gunther has rural values

To the Editor:

Most of us are worn down from the campaign advertisements and are ready for November 7. With that sentiment communicated, the intent of this letter is to encourage voters to exercise their privilege to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. When making your informed decision of which candidate to support, I encourage you to consider re-electing Bob Gunther to the MN House of Representatives for district 23A.

I want to thank both Bob Gunther and Heather Klassen for their participation in the candidate forums. While both candidates support our rural communities, Bob Gunther clearly shares our rural values including the Second Amendment, Right to Life, rural economic development, dependent care credit, school funding, vocational education, infrastructure, rural broad band, affordable and accessible health care among other issues. Bob DOES NOT support universal healthcare or tax increases. His opponent communicated her support of several projects that would significantly increase your taxes and state tax funding. Bob supports a government that serves the citizens and community rather than a government of mandates. Vote to re-elect Bob Gunther on November 6, 2018.

Rochelle Krusemark


Get facts, write in Zarling

To the Editor:

To former Ward 4 city councilman Mr. Terry Anderson,

Suggestion: when you hear something you should check the facts before publicly writing hearsay.

Facts: The article in the Friday Oct 26th Sentinel accurately covers all the FACTS of the write in candidate campaign. I encourage everyone to re-read it

Fact: Jim Zarling did not and is not heading up a write in campaign – He did, per the article, become an official candidate by filing the form to be eligible.

Fact: In regards to the one anonymous person you referenced from the article. There was no one person who asked him to accept a write in vote/campaign. Reason: it is not just one person but a campaign committee and therefore naming one individual would be the incorrect thing to do. For the record it was I who was spokesperson for the article. Numerous community members felt that Ward 3 voters needed another option.

Facts: Growth: Fairmont had growth and will continue to GROW: How can you overlook: Zierke Built Manufacturing, new ambulance facility, Mayo Urgent Care, Ingleside addition, Grafitti Corner, Commodity Services Building, Fairmont Realty Group – new built town homes, Whitetail Ridge development, Cemstone’s new facility, Marina Lakeside Lodge, Tractor Supply, McDonald’s, Indoor Playground, a third course for disc golf, Steve Pierce Park, Lutz Cancer Center, Aquatic Park, Dog Park, soccer fields, new housing, remodeling, and other Tech Builders Developments. Lest we forget the upcoming handicap accessible playground and miniature golf course slated for spring 2019.

Fact: Jim Zarling is only listening to the countless constituents who asked him to reconsider the write-in vote. Mr. Zarling is NOT campaigning for city council Ward 3, a committee of concerned citizens have rallied to the charge with Jim Zarling amiably accepting the position if that is what his ward determines on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Fact: One person alone cannot be held accountable for alleged poor infrastructure and roads or any other success or failure – and, wouldn’t you also be responsible – as you are a former councilman?

I again encourage everyone and particularly Ward 3 to go back and read the Sentinel article from Oct 26. We need a voice of reason, someone to decipher the big picture and be financially responsible.

Write in Jim Zarling for City Council – Ward 3.

Kandi Menne


Complaining does nothing

To the Editor:

I had the great pleasure to take my children trick or treating down Woodland Ave. on Wednesday night. What a wonderful site to see so many people out enjoying the holiday. We saw families, young and old, kids, grandparents, moms and dads, a giant T-Rex, dancing witches and even a large pig named Marty. I want to personally thank everyone who had a role in making Halloween on Woodland a reality. I know a lot of people worked hard behind the scenes to finally make this happen and you could see so many people putting in time to make the night fun for all. They deserve high praise for their efforts. For a short time, folks were able to share an experience as a community that was nothing but positive. I wish we could find more opportunities to work together as a community to achieve great things. We get nowhere complaining, participating in political partisan attacks and questioning people’s motives for trying to make their community a better place them and their families. We are all in this together, and on Halloween on Woodland Ave, at least for one night, we were all together, and having a great time.

Michael P. Edman