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Aug. 6, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Report cards available

The BDN’s July 31 article describing the launch of the revised Bangor School Department Web site indicated that the schools do not plan to provide online access to student grades. As Bangor parents and students know, the schools have provided this access since the 2008-2009 school year. We encourage parents and students to continue its use at www.bangorschools.net.

Paul Butler

Bangor School



Don’t water down bill

Right on schedule, the Republicans have started lying and the Democrats have caved on the health care issue. The watered down bill we get will invariably be worse than what we’ve got right now, if that is even possible.

And now the August recess has begun and our illustrious, empathetic senators are coming home to shake babies and kiss baseballs and hang out at fairs and festivals where they won’t touch the voters or eat the food.

However, if any locals get the chance to question our elected employees, ask them if they are ready to give up their big government-run health care system that our taxes pay for (till they die) until every resident in this state has the same care.

And call them and ask again and then insist that they answer when they try to skirt the issue.

Arthur Morison



Rush: the whole story

I would like to respond to a recent letter, “A Rush of hot air” (BDN, July 25), about Rush Limbaugh. Apparently, the letter writer does not listen to Rush Limbaugh’s show, because if she did she would have known just what he said.

I happened to have heard his show when he said, “I hope this president fails, if he takes this country down the path to socialism.” Then that same night Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News said Rush Limbaugh hopes the president fails, period, not telling the listeners the whole story.

I resent the opinion that people who listen to Mr. Limbaugh are cultlike and act like angry kids who have lost a game. This is more than a game to me; it is about protecting the freedom and the Constitution of this great country and not to destroy what hardworking people have accomplished in the last 233 years.

President Bush made mistakes and I did not agree with everything he did, but I do not think he wanted this nation to become a socialist, Marxist or a communist country.

Lowell A. Jones Sr.



Wrong math

I have no desire to defend the health insurance companies, but I do think they are getting more of a bad rap than they deserve these days. They and their earnings and their salaries are being blamed for the high cost of our health care system.

The BDN participated in that blame game in its July 30 editorial, which claims that if their profits were more reasonable, we “will no longer see $1 in $6 siphoned off to health care.”

In fact, that math is wrong. Even if their $12.9 billion in profits in 2007 were eliminated entirely, the total national health care bill, which in 2007 was $2.241 trillion, would have been reduced to $2.228 trillion, which still would exceed 16 percent of our GDP and leave the ratio at $1 in $6.

There certainly needs to be changes in the health care insurance industry, but there are bigger fish to fry. One of the biggest of those is the overuse of the system, which is caused by such things as the wrong incentives for reimbursement, the defensive medicine syndrome, consumer-driven demand for medications and the fact that too many of us who do have insurance (especially those of us on Medicare) don’t think it costs anything to obtain services because we don’t feel out-of-pocket pain.

Clifton Eames



A right denied

Kathryn Bourgoin’s otherwise insightful letter to the editor (BDN, July 29) on universal health care contains a major inaccuracy. She states that all Americans have had a right to public education since 1643. This right was not extended to black slaves until the end of the Civil War.

Thomas E. Martin


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