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Friday, Aug. 3, 2012: Fireworks, ethanol and insuring part-time workers

Bible rules

In the letter Bible Rules ( BDN, July 30), the writer cites Paul (Romans, 1:26-27) to establish the sinfulness of homosexuality.

Citing the Bible, one can also establish the virtue in rape, if the rape is of women, even if the women are one’s daughters, young and virgin. See Genesis, 19:8. Incest, too, is acceptable: Genesis. 19:36.

Is it possible that the Bible is not an indisputable authority on matters of moral conduct?

Karen Saum


Saturday night

Thanks to little thinking by LePage and his cronies, a quiet evening at Maine lakes has become something in our memories. The stupidity of legalizing fireworks in Maine is affecting many, and the joys of summer evenings interrupted.

Had hopes of a romantic, candlelit dinner for two under the stars; sorry for the ill-timed 15-minute barrage of fireworks six camps down. Romantic conversation can’t compete, let alone be heard over the din. It’s Tuesday.

Trying to get your baby granddaughter down for her night’s sleep; sorry, but somebody had the urge to shoot off several rounds of loud fireworks. After all, it’s Saturday night.

Settled in for the evening and just getting into “Doc Martin;” sorry you have to put your volume up to 27, but geez, the boys down the way feel like setting off fireworks on a Thursday night.

Sitting with your glass of wine, watching the bats swirl and dip, listening to the loons’ calls across the lake; oh, sorry, but somebody has a need to shoot off 10 or so rounds of firecrackers or some other obnoxiously loud exploding devices. The mood is gone. The loons are silenced. After all, it’s any night on a Maine lake.

Ah, LePage’s Maine, the way life should be. Not.

Tonya L. Troiani


Doughnut holes

I know firsthand how hard it can be to keep up with expenses every month. The cost of living, the price of just about everything and a shaky economy can be tough to handle. For years, I also had to take a prescription drug for my diabetes. As I had Medicare Part D, the program paid for most of my drug costs for the first six months of the year, but once I fell into the prescription drug coverage gap (the “doughnut hole”) that same drug came with a price tag of over $400 per month.

For anyone who might be doubtful that the Affordable Care Act will make a difference, it is worth noting that over time it closes the doughnut hole completely, which will make a huge difference to millions of Americans across the country and right here in Maine. While I don’t take that drug anymore, I remember when the winter months came and I would start getting my oil bills and wondering if I should heat the house, cut down on food or take the drug that I needed so badly then.

I know many people who have very limited incomes and if you are making decisions like that every month, it is frightening, to say the least. I am glad to see that over time, affording one’s prescriptions will become less of a challenge for our at-risk neighbors and families.

Debbie Mullen

Boothbay Harbor

Car buzz

My car learned not to weave when fueled with 10 percent alcohol. Now the corn lobby wants to serve 15 percent, which is more alcohol than the average wine and three times the buzz of an average beer.

My car can hold its liquor but little kids such as weedwackers, lawn mowers, snowblowers and outboards get sick on 10 percent and will end up in the ER with cirrhosis of the carburetor on 15 percent booze.

I understand chemistry so I sober up my own gas, but it’s a chore and I would buy pure gas if it were for sale. Many others would, too. What happened to capitalism and the free market? Demand is supposed to create a supply. When will people rise up and end this nonsense?

When will we realize that it’s sinful to use food as fuel in a starving world? Shame on us! Enough! Bartender, shut us off!

Gerald Metz


Economic insurance

In his recent July 23 Op-Ed, Joel Allumbaugh argued that Obamacare will have adverse effects on Maine’s economy, while singling out that seasonal businesses will be among the hardest hit.

What he failed to mention is that insuring our part-time and seasonal workforce is one critically important way we can support their vital contribution to the economy, and because of a new Maine program, it’s affordable for employers to do just that.

Maine received a $40 million grant in 2009 to create and operate the Part-Time Worker Coverage Voucher Program. The voucher program, which is operated by DHA, allows employers to offer their part-time and seasonal employees health insurance at only 5 percent of the cost for the same coverage offered to their full-time employees. The employee also pays a limited portion of the monthly premium based on their income level. The remainder of the premium comes out of the $40 million federal grant.

It’s innovative programs like this, and Obamacare, that will help us sustain a healthy and productive part-time and seasonal workforce in Maine, at a cost that employers can afford.

Greg White


Florida Act

Your lead editorial (BDN, July 31) points to those covered by Medicare and Medicaid as the culprits in instances of improper payments for Medicare and Medicaid services. While that may not be your intent, that is the impression given. Certainly there are cases in which individuals are not eligible, and intentionally provide false information to qualify, but these instances are dwarfed by those of corporate health care providers/hospitals, group and individual practices, phony drop boxes set up by criminals, etc. There are a number of well-known categories employed/billing for services not rendered, upcoding, duplicate claims, excessive services, kickbacks.

The largest such scheme so far is that perpetrated by Columbia Hospital Corporation, whose CEO at the time is now my governor in Florida. HCA paid a $600 million fine for fraudulent billing practices amounting to over a billion dollars. Under oath at deposition, Rick Scott took the Fifth Amendment 75 times. He escaped prosecution and went on to spend $75M of his wealth to win a three-way race for governor of Florida.

Under his direction, Florida is suing the federal government to prevent implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Florida.

Fred Ames

Fort Kent

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