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Why is Trump treated like he is above the law?

President Donald Trump. | AP photo

As an American citizen and voter, I am so disgusted with President Donald Trump and his idea that he can somehow block testimony to the House of Representatives from witnesses and entities that have been subpoenaed. If anyone else not connected to Trump faced such subpoenas, they would be immediately held in contempt of Congress and arrested until they complied.

It is in the interest of all Americans that the House immediately vote to apply contempt citations to any person or entity who follows Trump’s order not to comply with subpoenas. They should be held in contempt and jailed, just like any other American citizen would be.

For a man professing to be a law and order president, Trump’s very words and actions belie this premise.

It does not behoove Congress to submit to the insanity of a president who thinks he can tamper once again with witnesses, demand his staff not attend dinners and fail to release his tax returns. The president and his people seem to forget that they work for us, not we for him.

It is unimaginable that the reasonable people of the United States not voice their outrage at Trump’s idea that he and his cronies are above the law and do not have to submit to subpoenas. I fail to understand how anyone can think that his policies, lack of good judgement, ravings on Twitter, lack of concern over foreign intervention in elections and condescension toward American citizens can ever keep our country not only safe, but great in the eyes of the world.

Law and the Constitution should command our attention now, given the total disregard for law and Congressional oversight shown by this president and the Republicans in Congress who are too afraid to stand up to him.

Sooner or later, Trump will be revealed as the emperor who wears no clothes.

Barb Minarik, Logan Square

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Nurses’ efficiency relies on flexible scheduling

As nurses of Edward Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, we have deep and serious concerns about a legislative proposal, House Bill 2604, that would impose mandatory nurse staffing ratios at Illinois hospitals.

Throughout our careers as direct care hospital nurses, we have been honored to care for people during the most vulnerable times of their lives. We provide high-quality, compassionate care based on the specific conditions and individual needs of each and every patient.

However, this proposal would create a numerical, “one-size-fits-all” mandate for nurse staffing, overriding the expertise and judgment of nurses and other medical professionals at our hospitals. This rigid, by-the-numbers approach would severely limit our flexibility and decision-making to meet the unique and ever-changing healthcare needs of our patients.

We believe in flexible staffing that starts with assessing each patient’s condition and care needs, and allows our hospitals, with the input of direct care nurses, to match our nursing staff to the individual needs of our patients.

This approach enables our hospitals to provide the right and appropriate staffing and care that patients need instead of being handcuffed by ratios that force us to add extra nurses in units where they are not needed.

That approach has been recognized as successful.

Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital have been designated as magnet hospitals for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition, Edward, Elmhurst and Linden Oaks are regularly honored for safety, quality and patient care by national healthcare organizations.

Mandatory staffing ratios wrongly assume that patients in observation units need the same level of nursing care as patients in psychiatric units or hospital units with complex medical and surgical patients.

Staffing ratios would require unnecessarily high staffing levels during the middle of the night when patients are sleeping and force highly trained nurses to perform tasks normally handled by support staff. It’s an ineffective and costly way to handle healthcare staffing decisions and it could impede our hospitals’ ability to provide the best possible patient care.

There is no conclusive evidence that nurse staffing ratios improve quality or patient outcomes, but they will drive up healthcare costs in Illinois by at least $2 billion a year, including more than $15 million a year for our hospitals.

If nurse staffing ratios are mandated for hospitals, we will be forced to reduce or close healthcare services and units. There will be times when hospitals will have to go on bypass (sending patients to other hospitals) during unpredictable periods of elevated need when there are not enough nurses in the emergency department to treat patients to comply with the ratio mandates.

We urge our state legislators to oppose House Bill 2604 — or any other legislative proposal — that would impose unworkable and costly nurse staffing ratios that won’t improve care for our patients.

Amy Bessett, Breighanna Carey, Suzanne Driscoll, Neringa Haggerty, Lindy Luchowski, Denise Whitt — Linden Oaks Behavioral Health

Christa Beyer, Lisa Coen, Danette Farrell, Patty Foley, Colleen McKinney, Jennifer Piloni, Karen Plecki, Amy Rowe, Marie Spitzer, Katie Wilson — Edward Hospital

Jeanie Brown, Jeanette Gort, Kristin Hassett, Jaclyn Kuhn, Christina Pogue, Alexandrea Russell, Diana Scheck, Kathryn Toben — Elmhurst Hospital