Friday, Aug. 31, 2012: Obamacare, assisted suicide, Quimby park

Posted Aug. 30, 2012, at 3:02 p.m.

Obamacare effect on care

I’m not clear on the reason(s) for the pending sale of Mercy Hospital to a for-profit health care corporation (BDN, Aug. 21) but wonder if Obamacare requirements have any influence on a Catholic-affiliated hospital’s decision.

I read a recent report that because of the conflict between Catholic belief and Obamacare, there could be fewer Catholic doctors down the road. They will have to make a choice to deny their faith and ignore Vatican policy to stay in practice and comply with Obamacare demands or leave medical practice for another occupation.

It would be no surprise that because of Obamacare demands, Catholic health care facilities will decrease nationally in number as well. As Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters.” The short-term effect for Obamacare as-is might be superficial euphoria, but the long-term effect on the nation’s health care system might be a disaster.

Richard Mackin Jr.

Millinocket

Saddened by column

Dr. Erik Steele, I was very sad to hear about your patient who shot himself due to his terminal illness (BDN, Aug. 16). I am also concerned that in your frustration you have decided that physician-assisted suicide is the path you want to take.

I would have preferred that you had educated the patient about his options — like palliative care that helps the patient live his life as well as he can, in addition to hospice care when he can be assisted to die a pain-free, natural death free of equipment, surrounded by the people he loves.

I feel sad for him that he had no hope. I feel sad for his family. They may not have had time to finish their business with him.

Vicki Kolenik

Bangor

Disappointed description

We are glad that your writer enjoyed his lobster dinner in Stonington (BDN, Aug. 23), but we are disappointed that his description of our working fishing village might be a tad misleading to readers. “What passes for downtown Stonington” is actually the downtown, a viable one comparable to that of any other town with a similar population.

The town’s harbor, “a place for not only recreational boaters,” is actually a vibrant and vital working waterfront where the working boats far outnumber the recreational boats. There are galleries along the main street, but there are few “tourist shops” among the other buildings: a newspaper, fishing gear store, town hall, bank, grocery store, library, bookstore, bioresource business, realtors, historic opera house, ice cream stand, year-round restaurant, apparel shop, inn, granite museum and motel. We islanders like our real-life Stonington as a real-life place!

Jean Wheeler

Deer Isle

Park proposal

We are pleased by the decision of the Penobscot County Commissioners to oppose a national park and create a committee to meet on equal footing with any federal agency that might advocate for a park. The possibility of federal control has hindered investment in the region for too long.

Northern Maine needs the opportunity to grow the economy without the threat of losing local control. Gov. Percival Baxter bought the land that he gave to the people of Maine in order to prevent any federal control in Maine’s North Woods. Quimby’s park proposal is a betrayal of his legacy to Maine.

We appreciate the work done on this project by members of our board and especially our vice chairman, Gene Conlogue. We thank Sen. Doug Thomas for being there on Aug. 21 and for his longtime support of our opposition to a national park, preserve or monument in northern

Maine.

Anne Mitchell

chairwoman, Maine Woods Coalition

Rockwood

Silent minority

I’m shocked that many of my “right to life” colleagues are surprisingly silent on the challenges facing my fellow human beings in terms of the fragility of human life. Is our concern for life limited to conception and birth?

Where is the outrage when our state administration keeps threatening on a daily basis to throw people off health insurance, knowing that it’s covering the most impoverished and under-income citizens? We know that accidents, illness and loss of a job can happen at a moment’s notice. We’re informed that eight out of 10 recipients are employed.

Maine’s most precious resource is its people. What advantage is it to our state if its residents are undereducated or ill because of the unaffordability of health care? Every day we hear about fundraisers for individuals because of a catastrophic illness.

We also hear on a daily basis that politicians want to help small businesses. I have yet to hear of government largess from those elected officials flowing into the coffers of small businesses. We know that some of the largest industries do get federal and state subsidies based on the large number of employees. Therefore, doesn’t having access to affordable health insurance and other benefits fill in some of the gap between low pay and a sustainable wage? Isn’t that one of the ways we can help small businesses survive with healthy employees?

Does right to life stop at birth, or does it extend to the grave? If it is the latter, why not expend the same energy to promote life from conception to the grave?

Myra Beaulieu

Madawaska

Extra, extra, read all about it

I am appalled at the Aug. 23 column by Chris Busby, “LePage Has Storm – Possibly Involving a Brain.” It is a disrespectful, arrogant “piece of doo doo” (which is a quote from this bitter rant disguised as a light-hearted joke). And the fact that it was posted on the front page online, as though it were late-breaking news, is even more unbelievable.

There are many people who still believe that the BDN always reports facts and is unbiased. The way this blog is written, there are a lot of gullible people who may actually believe that the governor wrote these things. The author’s insinuation that LePage has a drinking and gambling problem is absolutely libelous. Would you print something this mean-spirited about Eliot Cutler or former-Gov. John Baldacci? I think not!

I have an idea for a truthful headline from the BDN, preferably on the front page: “We Hate Paul LePage and We Are Doing Everything In Our Power to Make Sure He Doesn’t Get Re-Elected.” I encourage everyone to not depend on this or any one media outlet alone to get the facts but to take the time to do some research on your own.

Lisa Norsworthy

Bangor

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/30/opinion/friday-aug-31-2012-obamacare-assisted-suicide-quimby-park/ printed on July 30, 2014