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Letters to the Editor for August 20

Build on Medicare

I greatly appreciate the open letter paid for by Dr. Elizabeth Weiss to Sens. Snowe and Collins and Reps. Michaud and Pingree, BDN, Aug. 15-16. I agree with the statements she and 127 other health care providers who signed the letter expressed, supporting the health care reform initiative proposed by President Obama and especially “a strong public option modeled on Medicare’s strengths.”

My mother is on government-run Medicare. She is 83, chooses her own doctors and has the best health care possible. She has chosen to purchase a supplemental health care policy so she has more control of expenses.

She has far better health care than my friends with $5,000-$15,000 deductibles, who risk serious disease and complications by postponing recommended tests and procedures because they can’t afford them. She also has far better health care than the millions without any insurance, all at far less cost than our private insurers provide.

An American friend of mine is a paraplegic as the result of a car accident. She is grateful she lives in Canada and her government health care plan covers most of her needs. She has chosen to purchase a supplemental health care plan to ensure more options to meet her many needs.

Sens. Snowe and Collins and Rep. Michaud say they support health reform. Please contact them and say you support President Obama’s health care reform initiative and ask that they support a strong public option modeled on Medicare’s strengths.

Joyce Schelling



Thwarted dream

I was very disturbed by the article that the Bangor Daily News printed about Laura and Dean Franks. This British couple has been working hard operating a restaurant in Wells. They had been allowed an extended visa for seven years. Now the U.S. immigration services say they must leave in 30 days because not enough profit is being made.

This is ridiculous. What right do they have to say how much they take in as long as they aren’t taking anything from our government? Something is terribly wrong with this picture. Many are here in this country illegally, and the American taxpayers are responsible for their keep, for example health issues when they go to the hospital emergency room.

President Obama has an aunt who has been here for years illegally. Has she been expelled yet? I bet not. The Franks are taking care of themselves, working diligently to run a productive business.

Many generations have come through Ellis Island and been successful. That’s the American dream; work hard and you would be rewarded. I guess not in this case. The Franks are being penalized for their efforts.

Estelle J. Bowden



Stifling discourse

When people peacefully protested against George Bush with signs, they were arrested. When people show up at Obama events with guns and assault weapons, police allow it. It’s pretty crazy, given the violent and inflammatory rhetoric fostered by political and media hacks such as Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al.

These appear to be the very same people who were happy to be lied to and spied on by George Bush. The same people who supported the PATRIOT Act and called protesters against it traitors. They claim to be concerned about the cost of the government health care plan, but happily supported Bush as he spent billions upon billions for warfare; billions upon billions in tax cuts for the wealthy; billions upon billions for corporate subsidies, turning the healthy surplus handed over to him by Bill Clinton into huge deficits.

Where were these people and their assault weapons and guns when we needed them to protest war, the taking of civil liberties, the robbing of the public coffers for corporate greed?

Those who carry weapons into crowds and political events are cowards. They lack the courage to stand up for any other principle — not on the right of others to freely assemble, not on the right of the others to express contrary viewpoints. They use their weapons of violence to intimidate and stifle discourse denying others the freedom to exercise their civil liberties without fear.

Sydney Taber



Why I oppose TABOR

I am a businesswoman who works in Bangor. I don’t care for taxes, but sometimes I think people forget what those taxes really pay for.

Not only am I a businesswoman, but I am also a daughter. When my mom gets elderly, she may need services that in all likelihood would be eliminated under TABOR II. These services take care of many more elderly community members than just my mother.

I am also an aunt with a wonderful niece and nephew. One conversation with them will remind you why a good education is everything. They are worth every penny of my taxes. TABOR II will change the educational opportunities for your children, my children and their children, and not in a good way.

TABOR II is also detrimental to the community services that we all depend on, such as law enforcement and firefighters.

And I have one question — why, after Mainers voted TABOR down twice before, is it back again?

Michelle Scammon


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