LETTERS

Tuesday, October, 15, 2013: Shutdown, health care and Angus King

Posted Oct. 14, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.

Pedagogy

OK. The kids on the Washington, D.C., playground won’t make nice.

Upon choosing sides for a game of King Of The Hill, their behavior became so spiteful that recess had to be canceled. Good grief, Charlie Brown. Detention hall for all, until the kiddies are able to get along. Jeepers creepers. Mr. Rogers is ashamed of you. What happened to the wonderful day in the neighborhood?

Jim Tukey

Pownal

World class health care

I write to supplement and clarify two letters on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, from Monday, Oct. 7.

Kathryn Bourgoin: “The average monthly insurance payment is $100 or less. Families will get an average tax credit of $4,000 to cover their health care.” Averages conceal. Someone in Aroostook County could end up paying $1,000 more than someone in Cumberland County. I don’t see how such differences can be justified if, as Obama says it is, health care is a right, to which all should have equal access.

Harper Dean: “I for one am grateful that the time has come when all have coverage.” I am grateful that some have coverage, but Obamacare does not, by any stretch of the imagination, cover “all.” Seven million additional people will sign up through the exchanges this year, and 9 million will likely enroll in Medicaid, of more than 55 million currently not covered, according to the Congressional Budget Office. By 2023, an estimated 31 million are projected to still not have insurance.

If we had truly decided to treat health care as a right, and passed single-payer health care in 2009, it would have taken a year to implement, since Medicare was rolled out in a year, back in 1966. And in just the two years since passage, we would have saved a trillion dollars and thousands of lives. I hope that Obamacare’s rollout serves as a teaching opportunity to show what a world-class health care system looks like, because we don’t have one now, and Obamacare won’t give it to us.

Sam Hunting

Orono

Pleasant addition to meals

Have you ever lived or traveled in New Mexico? (I lived there for 42 years before returning to Maine.) Do you long for the alluring aroma of green chile roasting in the crisp fall air? Do you quest for real enchiladas made with corn tortillas and green chile? Are you making do, but never quite satisfied, with canned green chile from the grocery store? Resourceful Maine farmers have come to the rescue.

Come to the Orono farmers’ market on Saturday morning. There you are likely to find a vendor flame roasting the fruits of his bountiful crop. Take home a sack of savory, fresh roasted green chile. This is the real McCoy, and very, very good. Try them, even if you have not explored the great Southwest; you will find green chile a pleasantly addictive addition to your meals.

Paul Smith

Orono

Little chance

U.S. Sen. Angus King campaigned for the Senate as an independent who would work to reduce the partisan fighting in Congress. That was the main theme of his campaign. Since he has been there he has actively joined in one side of the partisan foolishness he claimed to abhor.

No money can be spent by the federal government unless all three sides agree — the Senate, the House and the president. King sides with the faction that refuses to talk, negotiate or move. Like it or not, and he doesn’t, the Senate and the president are going to have to compromise and meet with the House and come up with a solution.

King doesn’t want that. He just wants the House to cave. If the House stands firm, as the founders planned, the damage caused to the economy is all on him and his colleagues in the Senate and the White House.

The House is following the rules that were set up at the founding. They are doing what they are supposed to do at last. No tax or spending can take place without their OK, and they won’t give it without some changes. Everything they have proposed is sensible and reasonable, but King and the Democrats refuse to even think about it.

King could be what he said he would be if he broke from Harry Reid and the president to lead a movement to talk and compromise and make Congress work again. Little chance of that, I guess.

Donald C. Lewis

Brewer

Wet blanket

At the risk of being a wet blanket, I’d like to bring up the impending catastrophe facing our planet.

I read the paper daily and have followed the antics of the tea partiers, who capture the headlines and entertain themselves with grinding the noses of the poor. Meanwhile, on Sept. 27, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a strong warning that barely made the news: “The world cannot afford to keep emitting carbon dioxide as it has been doing in recent years. … Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system … and these include more heat waves, more rainfall in wet regions, more droughts in dry regions, and a rise in sea levels.”

Willful oblivion links those who balance teacups, while workers go unpaid, poor children go unfed and the die-hards ignore these threats to our common home. The rest of us can act, and we should. The websites 350.org and 350maine.org have information about global warming, its effects on the planet and on Maine, and about how we can join others in the world who work to cut carbon emissions before it’s too late. The 350 team has organized over 5,200 actions to bring attention to climate change and to forestall its potentially disastrous consequences.

350maine.org offers a calendar of events in Maine counties that invite citizens to come together in behalf of our precious environment. The message is urgent. As John Kerry put it last week, “Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate.”

Charlotte Herbold

Belfast

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