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July 29 Letters to the Editor

Medicare for all

Imagine if your child had to show a “proof of education coverage” card to go to school this fall, and if 48 million children couldn’t go. This is the situation we are in with health care. Thomas Jefferson said “If we’re going to have a successful democratic society, we have to have a well-educated and healthy citizenry.”

All Americans deserve a basic health care plan, just like they deserve a basic education. All Americans have had the right to a public education since 1643, so it is time for all Americans to have health care. All other developed countries have universal health care. France has been rated the best health care system in the world. They have a basic health care plan for all citizens (the “Ford” of health care) and private insurance on top of that (the “Cadillac” of health care). Private insurance could still play a role here, just like private schools do in education.

How can we afford to cover all Americans? I support HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act, “Medicare for All.” It would cost $1.86 trillion per year. We now spend $2.3 trillion. Medicare has 3 percent overhead costs. Private insurance has 20 percent overhead costs — administrative costs and profits. The government already finances 60 percent of health care in the U.S. Employers contribute 20 percent.

Please contact your senators and representative and ask them to support HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act.

Kathryn Bourgoin, M.D.



Double standard irony

There is a special irony in the news that Rep. Blanchard was charged with using banned commercial fireworks.

Sen. Walter Gooley, (D-Farmington), recently proposed legalizing commercial fireworks sales in Maine. I attended a Criminal Justice Committee hearing to testify on behalf of his bill. I believed it would be good to restore a scrap of our freedoms. It was rejected by the Legislature. Rep. Blanchard, (D-Old Town), missed two votes on separate days when this legislation came before the House.

Thanks to the BDN, I now understand why he did cast votes. He apparently believes that as a state representative he is entitled to disobey the law which restricts commercial fireworks sales for “ordinary” citizens.

I was kind of pleased to find that he agrees that elected officials, at least, are entitled to be treated as responsible adults. I have to wonder whether his constituents are equally pleased to discover that he regards them as less than responsible adults.

Bill Reid

New Sharon


Tax hit is coming

I would like to respond to the BDN’s July 17 letter to the editor by the executive director and deputy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. They have high praise for Rep. Mike Michaud and his support for the cap-and-tax bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act. If this bill is passed by the Senate, it will be the biggest tax bill ever in the history of the United States Congratulations must go to our representatives for being part of history.

Does anyone think they even read this bill before casting their yes vote? This bill will increase your electric bill, gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, wood and groceries. All items transported or made require energy. Prices will be going up with the government in control.

Our representatives love spending bills, the bigger the better. Are they in Washington to help Mainers or to please their peers in Congress? I think they are enabling the administration to spend this country into oblivion! President Obama even said, “We are broke!” It could get worse if China and other countries around the world stop buying our debt, then we will be bankrupt without anyone to bail us out.

Thank your representative for their leadership the next time you see him and ask where you can find the 10,000 green jobs created by the tax-and-cap bill. Remember the health bill is coming right up, with a $1 to $1½ trillion price tag for socialized care. Brace your feet, taxpayers!

Butch Marble



Full coverage now

As a registered nurse for 30 years I’ve had a front row seat, observing our American Health Care system at work. I believe we need one integrated system that covers everyone, and we need it now.

Whether we want to face it or not, we are rationing health care. Many of our hardest working citizens are doing without basic care, because they are unable to access health insurance for themselves or their families.

Congress has turned its back on this issue many times in the past. I call upon them to rise to the occasion this time and pass legislation now to bring health care to all.

Kathy Warner

Stockton Springs


Hiking encounter

Last Monday I had the pleasure of meeting one of the BDN’s writers on the summit of Mount Katahdin. It was my first climb up the mountain with my friend Drew. We happened to be relaxing at the summit when a friendly man came up and asked if we had any questions about the “features” spread out below us. He meant the land features — lakes, smaller mountains and rivers.

After a few minutes of entertaining descriptions we introduced ourselves and lo and behold we were talking to Brad Viles. I was amazed!

I’ve read his articles for the last few years from hiking many of the trails in Maine to his articles about maintaining “his” 2-mile section of the Appalachian Trail.

He told us the day before he was up at Aroostook State Park checking out its trails and facilities. The day we met on Baxter Peak was his 93rd climb to the summit. You have a very good writer and committed Maine outdoorsman on your staff and I enjoy his articles every weekend. Kudos to BDN and Brad Viles.

Rick Freimuth



Act now, Congress

I doubt anyone with any knowledge of the subject is against health care reform. It doesn’t take a degree in economics to know that the current system is just not sustainable. Unfortunately, this country allowed the creation of a megahealth care industry controlled by greedy insurance companies whose first priority is not reliable, cost-effective health care but for profit.

I was also under the impression that health care reform was not a Democratic or Republican issue but a congressional issue, on which it can work on a nonpartisan basis for the good of all Americans. To do this requires Congress to cease juvenile political posturing, petty sniping, personal agendas and the protection of the big companies who contribute heavily to re-election coffers.

This Congress has an opportunity to turn a lemon into lemonade by seizing the opportunity created by President Obama by demonstrating leadership instead of pettiness. I am sick of the insufferable infighting coming from both sides of the aisle. It is time for all Americans to let their elected officials know that more of the same is totally unacceptable before they stick it to us yet again. The only acceptable result should be relief for struggling families and the best health care system in the world. Get it done now, Congress.

Robert J. Emery


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