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Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012: Medicaid, wind power and same-sex marriage


Borrow for a Greek vacation

The state is once again not paying its MaineCare (Medicaid) bills, leaving hospitals around the state holding no-interest, unknown maturity state paper to the tune of $150 million. The problem dates back to the King administration.

The unpaid debt to the hospitals is a violation of the Maine Constitution — specifically, the requirement for a balanced budget.

Three plus years ago Sen. Kevin Raye, then minority leader, submitted a bill to bond the unpaid hospital debt. Then-Attorney General Janet Mills ruled that the bill was unconstitutional because it violated the prohibition of borrowing to pay current expenses.

The unpaid debt is a current expense. It is not unexpected. The budget is out of balance. Gov. Paul LePage has an obligation to call a special session to bring the budget in balance. Or we could just stay in denial and borrow some money for a Greek vacation.

Jon Reisman


Brighter future

Last week U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud co-sponsored the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, joining our other congressional delegates in supporting this important bipartisan piece of legislation.

The act would extend the existing tax credits that are necessary in order to spur private investment in offshore wind power projects here in Maine and around the country.

As a college student about to enter the workforce, it is encouraging to see our leaders are working to develop new industries here in Maine. Maine’s offshore wind power potential is enormous, and fully developing it off our coast could bring billions of dollars of investment to the state and create thousands of new jobs, all while protecting our environment and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

I applaud Michaud and our other congressional delegates for working to move our country and Maine forward to a brighter, cleaner future.

Shwetha Hemavathi


Same-sex marriage

“It takes a great deal of bravery to be a Lesbian” — a quote by Harlan Gardner on the latest commercial airing on TV. A World War II veteran comparing lesbianism to fighting a world war.

Really? I wonder what the other WWII vets think about this. Did they go to war so gays and lesbians could get married? I think not. What this boils down to is this: A special interest group wants to change the meaning of the word “marriage” to suit their own interests and lifestyle.

Marriage, as defined, is between a man and a woman, not same-sex couples. Period! We can not allow special interest groups to redefine the dictionary. Have a union, an agreement or whatever, but not marriage.

This referendum must be defeated!

Joseph Kelley


Childish thoughts on Collins

As a longtime admirer and supporter of Sen. Susan Collins, I took offense at Chris Busby’s lame and childish column in the Aug. 17 edition of the BDN.

First, let’s dispense with the silly attempt at allegory. The senator is hardly a Snow White-like person. This story line continues to where Busby seems to be overtaken with his own attempt at cleverness and it rises to a level of obscurity where this reader, at least, is left fishing to find the author’s point.

On a serious note, a little lesson in politics. Freckles aside, if you wish to encourage or gain the senator’s support of any objective, poking demeaning fun is not the way to do it.

Bill Shook


A vote for humanity

Thank you, Dr. Erik Steele, for having the compassion to bring up the topic of physician-assisted suicide. I’m sorry for the pain that you have dealt with over David’s situation.

Yes, we should be able to end our lives at the time of our choosing. When we are no longer able to do for ourselves, suffer pain, lose our dignity and loved ones are devastated — it’s time to go. If we choose physician-assisted suicide it should be available to us without multiple restrictions. With so few taking advantage of the peaceful way out there have to be many conditions to deal with.

Every week people will ask: Where is Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s remedy to help me or someone I love? Those who feel negative about this procedure have the choice to linger and suffer until they succumb naturally. A vote for humanity is long overdue. Kudos to Oregon and Washington for being merciful states.

Carol Norwood


Giving makes a difference

An Aug. 21 article in the BDN, on how less-religious states are less generous to charities, got me thinking about the generosity of people running for office.

People get connected to reality through charity. If you are not connected in giving of time and money to charity, you are not connected to the real world. How much have the candidates for our highest office of government given to charity, not taxes to a government that will give back 10 cents on the dollar?

Let’s take a look at who is connected to the people through giving of time and money. Charity usually gives back up to 80 percent of what comes in to the cause it is championing. How much is taken in taxes does not make America great. How much is given in time and money to the people of America and the world is what makes this country great. It is the giving that makes a difference. Taxes are not given; they are taken.

R. Scott Jellison


Akin definition

After reading U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s recent comments about “legitimate rape,” I was surprised and pleased to discover that “the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down,” a fact that was hitherto unknown to me.

I had not heard anything of this sort from my biology or health teachers in the past. It’s a welcome relief that I no longer have to worry about my own health and safety anymore, knowing that the female body has such abilities. Now I don’t even need to carry pepper spray!

It is patently clear that Akin is a man of great knowledge, so I would lastly just like to inquire what else the female body has the power to do. It would be neat if it could function as a kitchen appliance or could convert dollars into euros. If Akin could enlighten me on this matter, I would greatly appreciate it.

Emma Howard


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