It's interesting how a little open-minded examination can change attitudes. I'm not talking about searching social media for support of one's pre-formed beliefs.

A great example is American attitudes on health care law, which conspicuously reversed when Republican members of Congress were forced to defend their years of truth-challenged misstatements about Obamacare. Gallup polls found that in less than a year attitudes about Obamacare changed from 53 percent disapproval to 55 percent approval.

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We are now having an intense national examination of the Senate's version of a health care law. Saddled with many maddening problems, the most troublesome part of this exclusively Republican-crafted version seems to be its disastrous weakening of Medicaid. We're suddenly learning a lot about little-understood Medicaid.

The reliably objective Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 39 percent of America's children are covered for health care by, guess what, Medicaid. So are 60 percent of all children having disabilities and 40 percent of all poor adults.

Here's one that surprised me: A whopping 64 percent of Americans in nursing homes must rely on Medicaid to pay for their care. Life savings do not go far at nursing homes that charge $240 a day or more.

This involves much more than the poor. How many of our parents and grandparents or elderly friends or citizens with disabilities thank god each day for Medicaid?

How many Republican senators truly believe in the classic conservative proposition that steadfastly refusing to help those in need floats all boats to the eventual benefit of all?

How many of these senators, deep down, wonder if the real purpose of this conservative boat-float credo is to sidetrack the burden of guilt? After all, refusing help to those in need without an excuse would be the greatest act of political self-destruction.

Jerry Kimball

Duluth