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Thursday, April 5, 2012: Economy, health insurance and mining

Keep dreaming

Rufus Wanning’s column, “Higher taxes on the rich spark the economy” (BDN March 31 – April 1), might more realistically have been titled, “Dream Economics 101.” While his plan for refueling our economic engine is as realistic, simple and clear as any conceivable, he assumes or maybe just dreams that the rich will have a sudden change of heart and a reversal of interest from hoarding dead money to breathing divine life into it by applying it to “rebuilding our [and their] infrastructure, expanding higher education, and to other investments in our [and their] future” essentially through charitable, differential taxation.

For until the rich can sense the real power and joy of driving this spaceship’s societal evolution into the Aquarian age, our politicians are bound by the chains of “stagnant cash from the rich” who haven’t yet understood Wanning’s last and major point that, “Paradoxically, by creating more demand, this plan also will help the entrepreneurs. By the end of two years, our economy will be humming again, tax receipts will increase and government spending on the poor will decline. Politicians will be arguing about what to do with the surplus.”

What a dream, but so was electricity and the light bulb and electrified homes, streets and cities.

Glenda Bell

Mars Hill

Level health insurance

As a cancer survivor, I don’t want to be treated unfairly in the health care system. My premiums shouldn’t be significantly higher than a healthy person — especially if it creates a barrier for me to access care.

The key to avoiding inequity is to create a level playing field for health insurance companies. If one health plan is less expensive because it has fewer benefits it will likely entice younger, healthier people and force someone like me into a more expensive plan with other older people or those fighting a chronic disease.

There is relief in sight in Maine. By 2014, every state is required to establish a state-run marketplace, or exchange, for people purchasing health insurance on their own. If set up and run properly, these marketplaces will allow people to easily compare health plans online and choose the one that is best for them.

What the Maine Legislature needs to ensure is that all insurance companies, regardless of whether they sell products inside or outside the marketplace, are subject to the same rules. Otherwise, plans sold outside the exchange could design their plans to attract healthy people, leaving those who are less healthy and with high medical bills in the exchange and driving up rates that would make coverage unaffordable to those who need it most.

Let’s make sure there is a level playing field, so everyone has access to the coverage they need regardless of their health status.

Marianne Moore

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network


Mining and education

Mining at Bald Mountain will bring not only jobs to our region, but it will bring hands-on experience for our students. New legislation will bring forth more economic opportunity, sustainable income for hundreds and an environment that will host real world experience for those participating in academia.

Valuable educational experience can be gained from passing LD 1853. Students will have the ability to learn skills from professionals in the field. Engineering and construction, lab work and water quality standards are all part of the process in which students can be involved.

Mining development at Bald Mountain will bring hundreds of new jobs to a region that has one of the highest unemployment rates in Maine. The County is a region that survives on natural resources and has struggled through these tough times. Maine people are resilient and loyal. We are a hard-working bunch who know the value of our land and take great pride is its preservation.

Legislation that will allow for new laws and regulations on mining in Maine is a necessity for students, workers and the region in its entirety. The benefits that will be reaped by students alone are astounding. Very few have access to such a unique resource, and this will surely prepare our students to go out and excel in the work force.

Mainers know the value of hands-on experience. Mining on Bald Mountain will secure hundreds of jobs, put food on the table, and create value for our students.

Samuel Weymouth


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