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Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011: MaineCare debate, Iraq mission accomplished

Cancer patients budget victims

In his effort to cut costs, Gov. LePage has released a proposal that includes overwhelming cuts to Medicaid which would deprive hardworking Mainers of cancer screenings and treatments that could save their lives.

More than one in five cancer patients in Maine rely on Medicaid for access to vital treatments and services. Many of these people ended up on Medicaid because they lost their health insurance after being diagnosed with cancer — some became too sick to work, others had to use all of their savings on treatments.

Instead of providing these people with a critical safety net, the governor’s proposal would kick many of them off Medicaid. For others, it would severely limit their coverage. For example, cancer patients would be limited to five hospital stays and 15 outpatient visits per year — which I can assure you, as a cancer survivor, does not even begin to cover the vast needs of someone with cancer.

I urge the members of the Appropriations and Health and Human Services Committees to reject the governor’s proposal, because cuts to balance the state budget should never fall on the backs of cancer patients.

Marianne Moore


Clean works

When I read the Dec. 15 op-ed, “State can’t afford welfare for politicians,” by Reps. David Johnson and Doug Damon, I was saddened and dismayed to see that two recipients of Maine Clean Election Funds were calling the program “welfare for politicians” and attempting to dismantle what I consider to be a light in the darkness of political funding practices.

In 2006 I ran for the state House of Representatives. I was a retired teacher with limited resources and was thrilled to apply for and receive Clean Elections funds for my campaign. At that time, I needed to get 50 $5 checks from 50 registered voters in the district. That meant that I had to go out to all six towns and meet face to face with people.

Before I was running I was getting to know the towns and meeting the people I was hoping would vote for me. These would be the very people I would be beholden to if elected, not some business or corporation from another district or area.

After receiving the funding I began campaigning in earnest “the old-fashioned“ way, without the worry of begging for money to compete with my opponent. My energies went into meeting citizens, finding out their concerns, researching policy and legislation, not asking strangers for money. I felt part of a democratic process.

I am proud to be from a state with the wisdom to have a process to make it possible to elect authentic citizen legislators. Please don’t “fix” something that works and is good for the citizens of Maine.

Donna M. Gilbert


Wants, not needs

In reference to a recent letter to the editor regarding welfare ( “Single mom smear,” Dec. 21), it seems the writer is or must have been on welfare at some point in time, because she doesn’t get the point. The point is that if you really need the benefits, you would spend the money wisely.

Buying lobster is not a necessity but a luxury. The money spent on that one meal could be more wisely spent on things like bread, spaghetti, meats, milk, etc. for several meals instead. The money spent on luxury items such as toys, etc. could be spent on clothes or food instead.

Those of us who aren’t on welfare and can’t afford things go without. Lots of people on welfare don’t know what going without means because a lot of them live better than those of us who work. The luxuries some of the welfare recipients get are paid for by some of us who can’t afford them for ourselves!

The letter does not represent all welfare recipients, but a lot of them. Some really do need the benefits, but some don’t.

Colette Pelletier

St. John Plantation

Through the cracks

We need to give help to those who really need it. A lot of people who have worked hard all their lives are refused help because they have to many assets. Well I’m one such person.

This MaineCare program is a joke. People who need help can’t get it while others live high on the hog from it.

Too many people don’t get off their butts to get a job. Before I lost my job in May to MS, I worked a full-time job and a couple part-time jobs to keep clothes on my growing kids and food on the table. Now that I need help we can’t get it.

My wife works two full-time jobs now that I’m unemployed. Social Security disability is another joke. I’ve been denied and they tell me that I will be able to go back to work in August. There is no cure for MS. Something needs to be done with the state’s MaineCare program and the people who abuse it.

Boyd Fortier


Mission accomplished

I am so grateful our troops are coming home from Iraq! They have given all in a very difficult war. For the military to end the mission with little fanfare is OK — it’s not a failure as portrayed by saying, “There was no ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. No victory parade down the center of this capital scarred and rearranged.”

It is not our American way. We did our job. Yes, war leaves terrible scars. Defending ourselves and the oppressed does leave lives “rearranged.” We give, not having to have “crowds of those cheering and grateful for liberation.” A nation that stands for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” continues to shout, with Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” to all the world.

If I understand the key figures, we have helped. That is what Americans do. From the Dec. 16 BDN: “the Americans did not leave modern schools or big factories behind them. Instead, they left thousands of widows and orphans,” and “Iraq: Key figures” included increased Iraqi security forces, increased electricity, cell phones, potable water, sewerage. Someone is grateful for these! Americans have freed this oppressed country to pursue continued growth.

Thank you America, for protecting us here, by going there, and defending the oppressed. “There is [indeed] no greater love than a man lay down his life for his brother.”

Jane and Tom Zimmerman


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