Letters to the Editor for April 21, 2017

Senate Republicans delivering on promises

To the Editor:

Senate Republicans are focused on your hopes and your dreams. We have long railed against high taxes, government-run health care, and wasteful government spending. Now that Senate Republicans are in the majority, we are delivering on our promises by reforming health care, cutting government waste, and letting you keep your hard earned money.

In 2013, under Democratic leadership your taxes were raised $2 billion. We focused on your family as we introduced our $900 million tax relief bill.

We are Advancing Minnesota by weakening government’s grip on your hard earned money. We permanently cut taxes, with a focus on families making $50,000 to $150,000.

We encouraged Main Street businesses to grow and expand by allowing them to deduct new equipment expenses, making it easier for them to hire more Minnesotans.

Minnesota is one of only 13 states that Social Security taxes. We want seniors on fixed incomes to live better in Minnesota, so we reduced taxes on Social Security income.

College graduates face unprecedented student debt. We have a tax credit to encourage them to live and work in Minnesota.

Minnesota has the worst achievement gap in the country; too many children are getting left behind. We introduced a new Opportunity Scholarship program, so low-and-middle income families can send their kids to a school that meets their needs.

Senate Republicans have been saying it for years – it’s time we put families first. If you’re paying down debt, or saving for college, a car, or improvements to your home, we have tax cuts for you. If your dream is to start or grow a business, we have tax cuts for you. Our tax relief bill is focused on you, and on helping you achieve your dreams.

Sen. Michelle Benson
R-Ham Lake

Election Commission needs to stay

To the Editor:

There is a movement to terminate the Election Assistance Commission in Congress. With continuing controversy about the accuracy, conduct and participation in American elections, this is not the time to abolish the only federal entity devoted exclusively to improving election administration on a bi-partisan basis.

The EAC does invaluable work to improve our nation’s election systems on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. It oversees the federal voting system certification program that sets standards for the upgrade of American voting machines and that 47 states depend on to maintain their voting machines. The EAC also improves accessibility at the polls for more than 37 million voters with disabilities. Finally, local election officials rely on the EAC to provide best practices on voting and election administration.

The EAC instills confidence in our election system. Rather than eliminating the EAC, Congress should provide the agency with resources and a reward commitment to sponsoring and encouraging information sharing among state and local officials.

Elections are the life blood of a democracy. We strongly urge Rep.Tom Emmer and Rep. Erik Paulsen to actively appose the Election Assistance Commission Termination Act.

Geri Nelson
and Arlene Gillett
League of Women
Voters ABC
Voter Service Co-Chairs

Volunteers are making an impact

To the Editor:

National Volunteer Recognition Week is Apr. 23-27. With this week approaching, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of the volunteers in our community, with a special thank you to those serving the students and staff of Anoka-Hennepin Schools. Their dedication and support to our schools has made such an impact.

Our volunteers show their support for our schools and community in many different ways each day. They show their support by being active in our classrooms, chaperoning field trips and sporting events, working on theater sets or costumes, or judging science or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fair projects – just to name a few. Anoka-Hennepin Schools volunteers also help by leading school-based and districtwide enrichment programs. These are only a few of the ways our volunteers have contributed their time and energy towards our schools.

This past year, over 17,800 volunteers contributed over 291,200 hours of work.

-10,000 volunteers have contributed over 190,000 hours of work to support students and staff in our elementary, middle and high schools through the Volunteer Services program.

-7,622 high school students provided 88,300 hours of service to local and global service projects through the Youth Service program.

-220 volunteers dedicated 12,941 hours of time to adult learners in our adult basic education program, Metro North ABE.

Their time and effort are such an asset and is very appreciated.

On behalf of Anoka-Hennepin Schools, and each school’s volunteer services coordinator, I would like to formally thank our volunteers for everything they do to show support for our students, staff and community.

Shannon Foreman
Volunteer Services Supervisor
Anoka-Hennepin Schools

Leaders need to stand up against predatory drug prices

To the Editor:

Last week Sen. Paul Anderson hosted a town hall with Sen. Michelle Benson as guest. One man asked what our leaders could do to fix skyrocketing drug costs. His grandson has anaphylactic allergies and the family can no longer afford his EpiPen. Sen. Benson’s answer was that people “need more skin in the game” and his grandson could carry a glass vial of epinephrine and a syringe to save money.

To that end, I have attached directions for injecting Epinephrine from a glass vial:

1. Time is of the essence. Do the following without delay:

2. Locate the 1cc tuberculin syringe with 1/2 or 5/8 inch, 25, 26, or 27 gauge needle.

3. Break the neck of the glass vial at the scored site in one fluid motion to avoid glass shards.

4. FULL CONTENTS OF THE VIAL MUST NOT BE GIVEN IN ONE DOSE. Give only the correct dose based on patient’s weight.

5. Turn vial at slant without tipping or contents will be lost. Loosen plunger with 1-2 dry pumps. Draw up slightly more than calculated dose.

6. Turn needle up, tap side of barrel, when air bubbles go to the top, push the plunger tip up to exact dosage. Give (calculated amount) cc of 1:1000 Epinephrine.

7. Clean injection site with alcohol (if no alcohol proceed anyway).

8. Give injection intramuscularly in upper arm, deltoid, or middle third of outer thigh.

9. Pinch two-inch fold of flesh. With fluid motion inject the needle fully at 90 degrees.

10. Release pinched tissues. While holding barrel with one hand, retract plunger, looking for for blood. If there is blood, pull the needle out and try a new site.

11. If no blood, push plunger to inject Epinephrine. Pull the needle from the skin. Apply pressure.

12. Transport patient to nearest emergency room.

Although Sen. Benson recommends the above substitution to save money, as a physician I can’t recommend it. Instead, I recommend our leaders grow backbones and stand up to predatory pharmaceutical pricing.

Allison Stolz, MD

  • RegularJoe62

    Well said, Allison Stolz.

  • Island Mountain Farm

    Ah Dr. Stolz, you may be wise in the ways of medicine but clearly you don’t see the solution to the problem from the republican perspective. The clear alternative to expensive EpiPens is elegantly simple:

    If you can’t afford the device then don’t come in contact with
    anything you’re allergic to, now, with all your fancy, highfalutin, uppity, ed u cation don’t you feel silly for missing the
    obvious and easy solution to the problem.