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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 16

Pawlenty's GAMC funding cuts hurt patients and providers

In April 2010, thousands of Minnesotans, many of whom have mental or chemical health diagnoses, will no longer be able to count on seeing their doctor or taking their prescription medication.

That's because last legislative session, Gov. Tim Pawlenty cut funding to General Assistance Medical Care, a program that provides health care coverage for people who make less than $8,000 per year.

Clearly, the men and woman who are currently covered by GAMC will feel this loss most directly. But the rest of us will also suffer from it. We will see our hospitals lose money and be forced to cut jobs. We will see our local government costs increase as demands on public safety and other support services increase. We will see our health insurance premiums rise in order to compensate for larger numbers of uninsured Minnesotans.

It's no secret that we are facing a tough budget situation. But that is no reason to let our neighbors suffer. In fact, these economic times make it even clearer that we must care for the most vulnerable among us.

I was always taught that I should treat others as I wish to be treated, that I should respect the life and health of all people, and that people deserve to live their lives to their fullest potential.

I want to live in a Minnesota where we care for each other, and a good place to start is by rebuilding General Assistance Medical Care.

Ann Marie Metzger


Local cinema has heart and soul

As a film fan, I have been to theaters across the Twin Cities and the Woodbury Theatre is one of the best if not the best.

True, it gets an interesting clientele and does not have all the bells and whistles like the theaters in Oakdale and Inver Grove Heights do, but it makes up for it in heart and pride.

The theater is not own by a mega-conglomerate but by a local film enthusiast who took over the theater when national chain United Artists (now Regal) closed it in 2002.

He then offered first run films at cheaper prices which limits the profit for him but makes it the best deal in town and films affordable for families and cash strapped individuals.

You can even see the owner working the snack bar some nights talking to patrons about the latest blockbuster too.

I urge Woodbury residents to support its local treasure and see a movie this month at the Woodbury Theatre.

William Cory Labovitch

South St. Paul