May 27, 2018
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Wednesday, June 15: Voting, Israel and heath insurance

Vote on vote law

My state senator, Nichi Farnham of Bangor, voted to end Maine’s 38-year policy of same-day voter registration. In this she was part of the new right-wing majority in state government.

Unlike most of her fellow legislators, however, she has in her district hundreds, maybe thousands of students, many of whom will be affected by this avowedly anti-democratic law.

I hope that her next opponent reminds students at Husson, the University of Maine at Augusta in Bangor and the University of Maine who live in the good senator’s district of her vote on this bill. Let’s make her a one-term state senator.

Howard Segal


Ashamed of town

Thank you for the BDN’s June 8 story, “In close vote, Wesley residents decide to keep school open,” about the crisis our small community faced. I attended that meeting and I can tell you it was long, serious and a little heated. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I personally will say I left that meeting feeling ashamed.

Moving back here I thought the little town where I grew up would be the same: strong and rich with history, values and the undying support of the next generation. I see now these times have long since passed. The generation that I remember is all but gone now.

What happened to “it takes a village to raise a child”? We currently have no children, but I’m sure not opposed to paying my little extra to make sure the families that do, are educated. It was disheartening to listen to statements like “two-room schoolhouses are not very 2011.”

This is an issue across the state. These small schools are a gift and they should be embraced and supported. The heart of any community is its school. Without a school, towns will grow old and eventually wither away.

I have caught many negative comments about the small place from which I came. I’ve always held my head high and was proud, but for the first time in my entire life I can say I am ashamed of where I am from and the community where I currently reside.

Children are our future and we do not get a second chance to make our decisions.

Christen Geel


Not very patriotic

We the people have elected our senators, congressmen, representatives and the like, who proclaim themselves to be patriots, love their country, and preserve the rights and well being of us all. What a joke.

They have voted themselves exorbitant pay raises, with these being their retirement pay, with no contribution on their part at all. They get full medical, dental and eye care at absolutely no cost to them. That’s pretty good benefits, wouldn’t you say?

Then, to top it off, these same proclaimed patriots want to cut Social Security and Medicare to help pay for their incompetence to run this country. If their retirement and health care were linked to Social Security and Medicare, would they still want to cut these programs? I think not.

It’s time these people woke up and realized where all these problems come from.

Gerald Wilcox


Dishonest analysis

Anav Silverman (BDN June 13 OpEd, “Nakba Day is a disastrous tactic for Middle East peace”) was born in Jerusalem and has lived in Israel since 2004. She is not a young innocent from Calais writing naively about Israel. She is a propagandist for a particularly unpleasant brand of Zionism committed to keeping the Palestinians powerless and stripped of water and land that belongs to them.

She writes for the Jewish Policy Center, a conservative American think tank that promotes a  Zionist state free of Palestinians. Its board is comprised of leading neoconservatives including David Horowitz, Michael Ledeen and Norman Podhoretz. She also works and writes for the Sderot Media Center which pays journalists to visit Sderot and listen to propaganda justifying Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

Sderot is a town built on the ruins of the Palestinian village, Najd, which Zionists seized in 1945, forcing the remaining residents into Gaza. Palestinians now lob rockets into what was once their village. They have killed 17 Israelis.

In retaliation, Operation Cast Lead destroyed most of Gaza’s infrastructure and killed 1,417 Palestinians. This is the reality of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) she claims Abbas lied about in the New York Times.

Ms. Silverman’s weepy protestations of persecutions by refugees deprived of homes, land, water and political rights then surrounded with walls, barbed wire, machine guns, checkpoints, soldiers, helicopters, travel restrictions and tanks doesn’t pass the straight-face test. Readers want honest and intelligent analysis of the Middle East. Ms. Silverman does not.

Janet Alexander

Old Town

Insurance companies win

While increasing competition for health insurance is a good thing, the newly enacted state

Health Insurance Reform Act creates new problems. This law allows insurance companies to establish new rate tiers for clients which, according to a recent article in the BDN, will increase rates for the elderly, the high risk and those living in rural areas.

In fact, people living in most counties of Maine, with the exception of York and Cumberland counties, will see an increase in their health insurance premiums under this restructure.

This law also allows insurance companies to provide incentives to seek health care at facilities that provide services at less cost to the insurance company. The travel restrictions that insurances had to comply with have been lifted. This means that you can seek health care at your local facility, but the insurance company can now charge you a higher deductible if your local facility is “costlier.” This will more than likely result in the loss of health care access in rural Maine.

Small rural hospitals cannot compete with large urban facilities any more than a small grocery store can compete with Hannaford. In fact, it will be just a matter of time before the insurance companies realize that obtaining health care in Boston is cheaper than receiving it in Portland. Where will health care access in Maine be then?

With this legislation, health care in the state of Maine will certainly change. It will now be driven exclusively by the health insurance companies.

Bruce Rioux


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