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We need health care for all Americans, not just rich

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In a Sept.1 letter, Don Werner generously offered up his plan for health care, "keep yourself healthy and have faith in God." I agree with Don that it is our responsibility to keep our bodies and souls as healthy as possible. I also understand that exercise and following good health principles won't protect me from a drunk driver nor did it protect my baby brother from his congenital heart defect. Since Don brought up God, is there any guidance we can find in the Bible?

Zachariah 7:8-10 tells us to "administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor."

Ezekiel 6:49 tells us, "Now was the sin of your sister Sodom; she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

There are nearly 100 Bible passages dealing with our responsibility of service to the poor and providing for the hungry. I believed it is our Christian duty to take care of those in need, and certainly our duty to make sure all American citizens have good health care.

I've heard people say, "Every time the government gets into the act, it messes up everything it touches." I agree that government is not perfect, but ask yourself are we better off with or without Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, police, fire departments, roads and bridges, etc. That's all government. I was at a town hall meeting on health care a few weeks ago. Well over half the crowd qualified for AARP. The question was asked, "How many of you want to get rid of Medicare?" One hand went up, from a guy who looked to be in his early 30s.

Every time a big change like Social Security and Medicare has come along, there have been angry people, fear mongering and cries of socialism. These programs may need fixing, but few want them gone. History has proven time and again that countries do a whole lot better when all the people have an adequate standard of living and their health and well-being is protected. Countries do not do nearly as well when there is a very big gap between the rich and the poor. Which direction have we been heading? We need health care for all Americans, not just those who can afford it.

Nancy Barcenas Mayer

Bemidji

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