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Letters: Health Care Law And Extreme Anxiety


It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments.

Last week, we talked about the Supreme Court's health care decision with columnist Jonathan Chait and law professor, Jonathan Turley and asked for your takeaway. Natalie Hall(ph) in Trinidad, California emailed with a suggestion: All commentators seem to minimize or ignore a significant financial consideration about health care. We already pay for those who can't afford it and get care in the emergency room. What hospitals don't get reimbursed for, they cover by increasing their charges overall so they can make a profit and continue to exist and keep up with medical advances. When a caller or an email brings it up, this issue was glossed over or ignored. How about having part of a program discuss this specifically, or at least give it a comment when a caller brings it up?

We spoke with Daniel Smith, who described his experiences with extreme anxiety in his book, "Monkey Mind." Sally Anderson was listening and wanted to share her story: I was a shy child. And as a young adult, I was physically unable to walk up to a stranger, offer my hand and introduce myself, she wrote.

But when I was 31, I went to a library school to become a children's librarian, and I had to take a storytelling class. The day I told my first story in class, my body was bathed in cold sweat. I had trouble breathing. My heart was going so quickly, I knew I was going to have a heart attack if I didn't get through this as quickly as possible. So I offered to be the first to tell my story. I didn't forget it, and the other students laughed at the punch line. That day, I realized I wouldn't die if I got up in front of an audience. I started telling stories regularly. And as I enter my 61st year, I've become a bit of a ham. I don't understand how this happened, but I am profoundly grateful.

When we talk last week about land-grant colleges and how they've transformed agriculture in this country, I misspoke. It's the University of California that's the land-grant institution in that state, and I apologize for the error.

Finally, far more of you than we could get on the air told us your favorite Woody Guthrie song when we marked his 100th birthday as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Carol Mell(ph) heard the program and sent this email: As a little girl growing up in The Dalles, Oregon, alongside the Columbia River, we sang two songs in school every morning, "America the Beautiful," and Woody Guthrie's, "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On." Guthrie's song celebrating The Dalles Dam was the anthem of our own place in the world. I am grateful for the sense of pride in our place I felt as a child singing that song.

And before we get letters about that, The Dalles Dam is one of several built along the Columbia River when Woody Guthrie was commissioned to popularize hydroelectric power. The best-known, of course, is the Grand Coulee Dam.

If you have a correction, comment or a question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.