LETTERS

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013: Mike Michaud record, Obamacare success, physician assisted death

Posted Nov. 14, 2013, at 10:41 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 14, 2013, at 1:18 p.m.

Look at records

The Bangor Daily News reports that Mike Michaud could be the torchbearer for gay and lesbian rights. Isn’t that wonderful.

I prefer a governor who will be the torchbearer for all governors in the country to step up and do what’s right for their constituents — like Gov. Paul LePage. Look at both candidates’ histories, at what they have accomplished.

Doug McLellan

Baring Plt.

Work it out

With all the rhetoric and negative spin about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, I think it’s time for a success story about it. My wife and I are senior citizens on Medicare, but we have a 15-year-old daughter who needs her own individual health insurance plan. Up until now, the high monthly premiums and deductibles for the plan she has have hurt our ability to save for her future college expenses.

Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are able to purchase a better plan at a lower monthly premium. The deductible for this new plan is only $650, compared with $5,000 with the old plan. The monthly premiums for next year will be $212 instead of the $317 the old plan would cost. She also now has prescription drug coverage, which was not in the old plan.

I was even able to enroll my daughter in this plan through healthcare.gov, despite encountering the infamous “glitches” when I first started using it. At this point, I can honestly say it is working a lot better than it was a month ago. Overall, our savings from the new health insurance plan will put our daughter’s college savings back on track. I truly believe our results could be typical for most Americans who obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, if they can be patient and give it a chance for the bugs to be worked out of it.

Joel Holcomb

Brewer

Physician-assisted death

The Nov. 9 BDN editorial presented a compelling argument for legalizing physician-assisted death. Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences), a good friend of mine in Florida committed suicide just a few days prior. He was a retired medical doctor and obstetrician who had been suffering for several years from an incurable condition that left him in constant pain, discomfort and mental disorientation.

I planned to see him the preceding week while I was visiting there, but an unexpected illness kept me housebound. I did speak to him on the phone, and while he seemed unhappy with his physical condition, he gave no hint of ending his life. What I did notice was the psychological and emotional shift that had occurred in him. Normally a positive and gregarious man, he sounded defeated and depressed.

After reading the BDN editorial on the heels of his death, I can’t help wondering how much better it would have been for him, his wife and his friends if he had the option of a dignified death rather than the horror of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This wonderful man, who had delivered several thousand souls into this world, ended his life alone and in desperation. Let’s take another look at the option of physician-assisted death.

Arthur Barry Adoff

Bangor

PETA campaign

While I am not particularly a fan of Linda Bean, the smear campaign by PETA is obviously a publicity stunt playing on her name recognition. It is probably also a ploy to divert attention from the abysmal kill rate of nearly 90 percent in at least one of their animal shelters.

Roger Hannemann

Camden

Heavenly place

For those folks worried about upcoming “Census” takers’ questions about the pathway to heaven: In case I am told, “You can’t get there from here,” I plan to reply, “I’m already here!”

There are many highways; most come here via I-95. Long travelers can come 3,200 miles from Seattle via U.S. Route 2, or 1,800 miles from Key West via U.S. Route 1. Perhaps the most scenic entry is via Route 27 at Coburn Gore.

Maine, “The Way Life Should Be,” is a heavenly place.

Enough said. Deeper spiritual feelings and beliefs are personal and not to be shared with doorbell ringers.

Lin Parker

Penobscot

Last goodbye

Thank you for the Nov. 11 article about the U.S. Army Junior ROTC programs now active at several area high schools. It is a source of pride to me that the JROTC program is growing in our area. My three years at Bangor High School were highlighted by the training I received as a cadet. In my years at BHS, and in prior years, ROTC was mandatory for all sophomore boys, resulting in a much larger number of participants than today’s voluntary program.

Those boys and girls who now are enrolled in ROTC are a great credit to their generation. I also very much appreciated the article about the bugler’s “broken note” at President John F. Kennedy’s burial service in 1963. I can well relate to it. I have had the privilege of playing taps for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the Pearl Harbor Memorial ceremony and the Battleship Maine Remembrance for well over 20 years, and it’s very true that there is a lot of self-imposed pressure to play it flawlessly.

But sometimes, very cold weather affects the brass in the bugle and narrows the harmonics of the instrument, which can cause a note to crack through no fault of the bugler. At other times, it’s just a human mistake.

A live bugler, however, is always preferable to the “‘digital” bugle now in use by some military units, which requires no playing skill at all, only a “posture” of playing. Taps is meant to be played slowly, with warmth of tone, and I prefer to add a little vibrato to resemble the singing voice. The final note should be held as long as possible and allowed to fade away gradually,

It is, for the deceased’s family, the last goodbye.

Hal Wheeler

Bangor

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