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Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013: Obamacare working, no Medicaid expansion and ‘the party of no’

Obamacare working

So reads the title of an article in the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 3. This article goes on to ask more precisely: What if the new health care exchanges work?

If the exchanges work, “it could end up serving as a guide toward serious cost controls throughout the system. … The exchanges would open up a significant part of the health services industry to competition on value and that could be a big positive change.”

Social Security, Medicare and Medicare D all initially had strong negative campaigns against them. They are all now accepted and approved by the public.

It was reported that millions of individuals contacted www.healthcare.gov on the first day, Oct. 1. That’s success, not a “glitch.” The wait times have been significantly reduced quickly, despite the shutdown of the government. Uninsured citizens have until Dec. 15 to apply for coverage that would start Jan. 1, 2014. People are used to comparison online shopping.

Is the reason Republicans are screaming so loudly against Obamacare because they are afraid it just might work? I hope they realize that “success” with Obamacare means that the dysfunctional current health care system might be improved and millions will finally have health coverage, which will bring relief as well as economic savings to them and their families, their towns and country.

If a huge number of people come to opening day of a restaurant or to buy out a new product, that’s called “success.”

Pam Person


A mess

Matthew Gagnon, a Republican strategist, says that Democrats are responsible for the government shutdown because they just say “no” to the delay of Obamacare. “The entire program is a mess,” Gagnon tells us.

I partly agree with Gagnon: Part of Obamacare is a mess. That’s the part that allows expansion of Medicaid to cover the poorest among us. It’s a mess because the most extreme Republican governors (like our own Gov. Paul LePage) have refused federal funding to enable poor people to have health insurance. The poor are left out in the cold, and that is a mess. For Republicans to call this a mess is like a mugger kneecapping a runner and then complaining that the runner is too slow to compete.

How about the part of Obamacare that enables people to seek affordable health insurance through the new insurance exchanges? Is that a mess? Only in the sense that so many people are looking for affordable health insurance that the computer system couldn’t keep up on the exchange’s first days. LePage, of course, has refused to cooperate in setting up the exchanges.

The real mess is Republicans shutting down government in order to deny affordable health insurance to Americans.

Sol Goldman


Misinformation damage

Regressive politicians are trying to defeat the Affordable Care Act with well-funded misinformation. They are damaging our country because they dislike a law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court.

Most uninsured Americans work but can’t afford health insurance. They build and repair our homes, serve us in restaurants and stores, repair our cars and computers and make us comfortable. They don’t like asking for help. Many are one illness from poverty. We may think we live by the Golden Rule. In reality, in the U.S., gold rules.

Without health care, people suffer needlessly. Health care is rationed based on income. Many single mothers working full time cannot afford health insurance. If her child gets sick, she can’t afford time off let alone a doctor. If the child gets worse she may go to the emergency room, but long-term physical damage may have happened

Americans should not have to choose between food and housing or health care. Without the ACA, preexisting illnesses, benefit caps and high premiums prevent people from getting health care.

Some religious leaders decry the ACA because contraceptives will be covered, but others, like me, are working to make sure everyone is covered by the ACA.

We are trying to follow Psalm 82: “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Please don’t be discouraged by lies from signing up for health care coverage through the ACA.

Rev. Charles J. Stephens

Blue Hill

Park disgust

It is bad enough that so many people have had their vacation plans ruined by the closure of Acadia National Park, but for some reason, the park officials seem to want to maximize the pain. In the 1995 government shutdown, the park simply stayed on “winter rules” wherein trail head parking, the carriage roads, the Sand Beach section of the Park Loop Road and the Schoodic Drive all remained open. This time they are roping off trail head parking, locking down the whole park, writing parking tickets and chasing people out.

Why? To build public disgust against the government shutdown? They are in fact building public disgust against Acadia Park management.

Warren Close


‘Party of no’

In a recent column, Matthew Gagnon of the Republican Governors Association called the Democrats the “party of no” because they refuse to negotiate on the Affordable Care Act. Excuse me, but how do you “negotiate” on a law? The ACA (Obamacare) is the law of the land.

Since the Republican-controlled Congress has been unsuccessful in repealing it, an attempt is being made to hold the country hostage via a government shutdown unless the Democrats/ President Barack Obama will “negotiate” its demise.

Next, of course, will be the debt ceiling fight, and it looks like Congress will be willing to risk the good faith and credit of the U.S. in an attempt to kill Obamacare. I am grateful to the Democrats for refusing to “negotiate” with a loaded gun pointed at their heads. Who really, after all, is “the party of no?”

Pat Carrick


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