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Wednesday, July 25, 2012: Medicare, the east-west highway and LePage


Give all the facts

I strongly disagree with your conclusions in the editorial “LePage-Pingree Struggle.” The BDN and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree both fail to inform the people of Maine when some of the most telling facts are omitted. Leaving out important information is deceitful and dishonorable. As Maine’s largest daily newspaper, I expect more from you. Shame on you both.

The fact that Maine provides more Medicare coverage than the federal government requires us, and that the Maine House, Senate and governor wanted the state to be allowed to provide the same coverage levels as 45 of the other states, is never mentioned. These proposed changes are part of a budget that was passed by the entire Legislature and signed by the governor. Some of our most prominent local politicians like Senate President Richard Rosen have spoken in favor of the Medicare changes. Again silence from the BDN.

Should we believe that Pingree by herself is able to overrule what our state Legislature has passed? Does she really think she is more representative of the desires of the people of Maine than the senators, representatives and the governor combined? Or maybe it’s just that she feels omnipotent since she is married to a multimillionaire. Remember Pingree is the 1st District’s representative. She was never elected to speak for the whole state. She has never had that kind of support and has never won a statewide election. LePage in contrast has the right and the obligation to stand up for the entire state.

Glen Quintal


Four-lane idea

I keep thinking back to Peter Vigue’s public address in Dover-Foxcroft on May 31. The most telling moment was his response when asked about his proposed highways tagline: Transportation — utility — communications.

He repeated throughout the evening that Cianbro has no intention to have a gas line or cable on the highway, but when asked exactly what “utility” meant, he said, “Do you know what the energy needs of the future will be?” This seems like a clear sign that he is not totally against it.

A gas line or other utility may not be Mr. Vigue’s intent, but if Cianbro successfully acquires the 220 proposed miles, it’s conceivable that companies intend to pay Cianbro lots of money to use their land. Cianbro, after all, is a business driven by profit. Mr. Vigue, himself, refers to Irving, a huge corporation, as the Irvings, like longtime friends.

Even if Mr. Vigue sincerely cares about the well-being of Maine, who can predict what the company will be like when he is gone. Once a highway is built, it is there forever. It will only lead to more and more development.

He repeatedly painted northern Mainers as poor, desperate, unhappy people with no chance for a future, citing a lack of connectivity by highway to Canada and the Midwest as a reason why. When I visit northern Maine, I see the opposite. People here are full of life, vibrant, completely content and living in harmony with their surroundings, qualities you won’t find under a four-lane highway.

Corey Pickett


LePage insult

Gov. Paul LePage’s recent remark about the IRS is thoughtless and insulting, not just to all of us in Maine, but, more important, to all those who have survived the Holocaust.

The recent OpEd in the Bangor Daily News about one such survivor should make that abundantly clear. The governor’s attempts to apologize are well taken, but they do not lessen the nature of his remark.

I am reminded of Kenneth Clark’s statement at the end of his book “Civilization,” also a television program: “I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that sympathy is more valuable than ideology.”

And later, “For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole.”

Stephen Porter


Broken system

I’m becoming completely convinced that the greed in our political systems is winning. We hear the same rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. A country in debt beyond belief and still we feel obligated to be the overseers of the world.

We hear politicians say all the right things, but not do anything that makes sense to the common man to fix them. I was taught by my Dad that when broke, spend less and find a way to earn more. That didn’t mean steal it from those that had earned it, it meant get creative and work hard. If we keep taking from those that work hard, what incentive do they have to keep earning it? The next thing you know we’ll end up like the other socialist countries out there.

Then there is the political race, negative, negative and more negativity. It’s like advertising in this country, unregulated and you don’t have to tell the truth. What about the insane amount of money they will spend by November, almost a billion dollars for a job that pays $400,000. We want them in charge of our country’s spending?

They all say reform but never do. Prime examples are Obama and lobbyists: he said there wouldn’t be any in his cabinet. Now Angus King, looking to enter Washington, comments, “I take no joy from this and hope to work to reform our election finance laws if I am elected to the Senate.”

The system is broken and we should be outraged.

Fred Gagne

Old Town

VA Web portal

I am a retired Air Force veteran and have used the VA for many years.

I’ve had frustrations with the VA, but when it does something good, something that works, I want to give it credit. It has a Web portal, Myhealthyvet. A veteran can establish an account, renew medications and much more.

The thing that impresses me most is the new secure email feature that allows a vet to communicate directly with his or her VA primary care providers. I send a secure email and get a call within 24 hours. I strongly urge veterans who use the VA for their medical needs check out this useful feature.

David Winslow


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