Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Your Views - Letters from Our Readers; Opinion

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Your Views - Letters from Our Readers; Opinion

Article excerpt

Still clinging to a fading constituency

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the Missouri Republican Party stood for something. That was in the days of Ashcroft and Danforth, and at the national level, of Reagan. The GOP was the party of common sense that looked to the future. Sadly, that vision no longer exists in our Republican-dominated Missouri Legislature. We've become a party of small regional fiefdoms in the form of our Senate and representative districts, but we find it almost impossible to reach across party lines to elect statewide office holders. Perception is everything in politics. And when the perception is that a party is exclusionary, it's on a swift road to becoming irrelevant.

Nothing is more evident of this than the annual effort to pass legislation that would require a photo ID in order to vote. "A solution in search of a problem," as it's commonly called, even though verified instances of voter fraud when casting a ballot in Missouri are virtually nonexistent.

While efforts by our legislators to require a photo ID when voting may sound reasonable if you're firmly entrenched in the middle class, the fact is that some people living on the edge who in many cases have been voting for years may not have a photo ID. And yes, demographic research shows these voters likely would come down squarely on the Democratic side.

This fact wasn't lost on Pennsylvania's Republican House leader, Mike Turzia, who in 2012 said that state's recently enacted voter ID law "is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania." (Romney lost Pennsylvania.)

But is this the way we want to win elections, by selectively suppressing voter turnout? In the short run, you can probably win an election or two. But that's extremely shortsighted. A leader with vision would be more focused on the long-term viability of the party and its principles.

We live in a country that is increasingly culturally and racially diverse. Anyone who thinks we can turn back the clock to a mid-20th century time when we were still a Eurocentric nation is living in a dream world. Tell your legislators you do not support voter photo ID.

Richard Bauer * Kirkwood

Former Republican assistant director of elections for St. Louis County

Costs for procedure went up because of Obamacare

I would like to thank Sen. Claire McCaskill for pushing Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).

Let me tell you my story.

My husband has been on warfarin for almost 20 years and has his blood INR checked each month. Up through last year, he was not charged for any testing on his INR levels. In August 2013, we started getting a bill for each visit for $15.40, which we were told was due to the new Obamacare. I really didn't mind paying this amount as it was manageable. Starting in January 2014, our co-pay for the same test at the same facility went from $15. …

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