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Jan. 27 Letters to the Editor

Put up or …

My fiancee, LeBaron, and I are getting married soon, but we have not set a date. He is a fourth-generation fisherman from Beals and I am an RN, first in my family. We are getting married because we love each other, but there is no denying that both of us will be relieved when he gets health coverage for the first time since we started dating.

Why should my 25-year-old husband have to wait until our wedding day to be able to go to the doctor without worrying about what the out-of-pocket expenses will be? How can he focus on his work if he’s always worried about the other shoe dropping?

There are many other working women with fisherman husbands in Beals. We often wonder why we should be forced to make these tough choices. If it’s a tossup between paying for our house or boat and health insurance, we’re going to choose the house and boat, of course. But LeBaron’s boat won’t be any good to us if he is not healthy enough to haul traps.

All my neighbors are facing the same questions. Some of them are dying because they’ve had to make tough choices.

I’ve read enough of the health care bill to know that we’ll be able to afford some basic health care and hold onto his boat at the same time, if it passes. Either our politicians should pass the bill and give Washington County a break for once — or else stop pretending that they work for us.

Roberta Garnett



Pass health care now

I want our legislators to pass health care reform now. If the senators and representatives do not pass health care reform within the next couple of months, they will have failed the citizens of the United States of America.

One must remember that the voters of Massachusetts have a state health insurance program. They already are complaining about this cost, and prefer not to be forced to pay for a national program. The Massachusetts voters do not represent all of us.

Democrats and any thinking Republicans should act together today to get the work done on this important issue and others.

We desperately need them to represent us and stop the political bickering and get to work to help the president solve the problems facing all of us today. They are all accountable to us, and we pay them to properly represent us.

Doreen Sheive



Raise sales tax, 1-2-3

I have three compelling reasons why we should increase the sales tax by 1 cent and not cut the programs needed by Maine’s most vulnerable residents.

First, there is ethics. Every major world religion mandates caring for the elderly and disabled. Want God out of the picture? “The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful,” according to the Code of Hammurabi, 1780 BCE.

The second is fiscal responsibility. Aren’t many of the services scheduled to be cut ones that prevent more costly services? Without home-based care many people will be forced into more expensive nursing homes. Somehow I don’t see the savings.

Finally there is vested self-interest. It isn’t always someone else who needs help. We and our loved ones are only an illness or accident away from permanent disability. And those of us who don’t die young will become senior citizens. If I ever need one, I want a secure safety net in place.

Don’t you?

Julia Emily Hathaway



Rah-rah for Rowe

The recent year-end finance reports show that Steven Rowe leads in breadth and depth among Maine’s candidates for governor. Steve is virtually tied for first place in total Democratic funds raised and has, by far, the highest number of individual donors among Democrats. I’d like people to know.

Steve raised $251,707 from 1,357 individuals (the next-highest number among Dems was 920), and leads his Dem colleagues in cash on hand and percentage of Maine donors (94 percent).

I’m not surprised. Steve’s work, as speaker of the House and attorney general, has been outstanding. He was a West Point graduate and single father who served in the military, a lawyer and an MBA who combined experience in business, management and marketing with compassionate insight into the science and social factors that shape our economy, our environment and our families’ well-being.

He took on predatory mortgage lenders. He successfully argued for clean water protections before the Supreme Court. Championing women, he fought domestic violence. And he’s been a national leader among attorneys general.

Even so, he has the humility to surround himself with people who tell him the truth. He spots root causes and has the integrity and leadership to do something about them.

Steve spoke to me more than 18 months ago about running for governor. My enthusiasm for him has grown since then. His finance report — and his broad support from Mainers — tell you that others feel the same way. They should. He can lead us to better times.

Stephanie Cotsirilos



Abortion convenience

Peter Rees raises some interesting points in a recent letter to the editor, but the case he makes will not hold water.

While it is true that abortion on demand is legal, the proper question is whether it should be legal. In order to foster his presumption that it should be so, he indicates that neither embryo nor fetus have arrived at the status of human being, though with the proviso that human embryos and fetuses can become nothing other than human beings if they were to develop sufficiently.

But what if human development is better thought of as a continuous process in which embryo and fetus were but two periods in that continuous process?

Even granting some superior status of fetus and embryo to periods within a continuum, one faces the necessity of identifying that which distinguishes the fetus from a human being. The burden for that distinction rests upon those who propose that there is such. Furthermore, implicit in the notion that there is some discontinuity in development between fetus and human being is the unsettling possibility that one might reverse the development to human being by some mischance.

The moral case for abortion on demand has not been made. In my own thinking, the only argument for abortion on demand is one of convenience. It is appropriate to remember that rich old aunties can also be inconvenient.

Hans Schmidt




On Jan. 21, the BDN printed a letter from Ellie Light who said she lives in Bangor. She does not.

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