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Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012: Health care, Iraq and sleeping at the wheel


Stop hyperbole, fear tactics

Nancy Cummings and Joe Ditre are a bit late in their prediction of the “perfect storm” in health care in Maine (BDN, Dec. 19). It has already happened and has continued to rock the people of Maine for the last two decades. I’m talking about Maine’s devastatingly overregulated insurance market and our irresponsible and unsustainable expansion of MaineCare.

The life ring thrown to drowning victims in Maine’s health care perfect storm came in the form of Dirigo Health back in 2003 — an expensive and doomed program that never came close to its goals but ate up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Needless to say, that life ring didn’t float.

I find it ironic that the two authors both represent organizations that support Maine’s health insurance status quo as well as fought desperately to continue spending money on Dirigo.

To the writers’ chagrin, something is finally being done to change the Maine health insurance status quo and success has been predicted by an independent actuarial study by Gorman Actuarial, LLC, authorized by Maine’s Bureau of Insurance.

Ms. Cumming and Mr. Ditre should stop with the outrageous hyperbole and fear tactics. This kind of rhetoric is just as irresponsible as the failed programs and policies they continue to support.

Earl Inman

Round Pond

History won’t be kind

Thank you for your Dec. 26 editorial, “It was a Needless War.” It said better than I could that which so many of us have been thinking these past eight years.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s folly has cost us dearly, both in treasure and in blood, although the true

measure both fiscal and emotional won’t be known for many years. Events have a way

of looking different as we begin to put some distance between us and the war and history

will not be kind to the Iraq war.

Just as with my war, Vietnam, the further out we go the more of a mistake it will be shown to have been. I only wish I had taken the time to level more criticism as maybe it could have hastened our withdrawal.

This fiasco in Iraq has put our beloved nation deep in debt (with a price tag of over $1 trillion) and has polarized our body politic. I can only pray that our political leaders of both parties who blindly hurled themselves off the cliff of national pride in 2003 will tape your editorial up on their walls and look to its words the next time some righteous neo-conservative who has never seen combat suggests sending our troops into another abyss like Iraq.

Michael E. Carpenter


Life not sacred?

The story of a motorist striking a pedestrian and killing him (BDN, Dec. 28) reveals a legal loophole which troubles me. There is no criminal negligence because the driver was asleep behind the wheel. Moral responsibility isn’t restricted to acts of commission, but includes acts of omission.

When a driver is intoxicated, a designated, sober driver is needed to control the vehicle. Why isn’t it a criminal offense to lose control of a mobile, deadly weapon by falling asleep? If Lt. Bob Young had been in Norman Pelletier’s place (God forbid), would District Attorney Almy maintain the same legal position? Also, the Legislature would close this loophole without hesitation.

Maybe the problem lies in the worldview that human life isn’t sacred anymore.

There’s too much carnage on the highways. When are motorists going to change their careless, irresponsible driving habits and realize that driving involves an awesome responsibility that affects many people? If we are not fit to drive, designate someone who is or stay off the roads.

Elmer Morin


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