December 31, 2013: Holiday ads, Gov. Paul LePage, affordable health care

Posted Dec. 30, 2013, at 1:35 p.m.

Holiday gifts

Has anyone else noticed that now Christmas has passed, there no longer are ads on television promoting holiday gifts or holiday shopping? Why are the advertisers afraid to reference Christmas? Who or what group are they afraid of? Just wondering. Happy holidays, everyone.

Richard F. Dinsmore

Belfast

Right moves

Love him or hate him, Gov. Paul LePage is making all the right moves for the state of Maine. Maine’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in November, the lowest its been since November 2008.

LePage attributed the falling unemployment rate, in part, to his administration’s “pro-growth, pro-business policies” over the last three years.

“We have reduced taxes, cut red tape, streamlined regulations and made fiscally responsible decisions to right-size government. All of these factors make Maine more competitive in attracting and retaining jobs,” the governor said in a statement.

Cathy Cooper

Rockland

Health coverage

Dirigo Health Agency is terminating health insurance coverage for thousands of Mainers Dec. 31, not because the Affordable Care Act rendered the program obsolete but because the Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage killed it.

Next week would have marked the beginning of my 10th year of coverage through Dirigo. This affordable plan provided comprehensive coverage for my husband and me when no comparable plans were available to us as independent subscribers.

Gov. John Baldacci and the 122nd Legislature are to be commended for their bravery, tenacity, and dare I say audacity in achieving what had previously been unachievable in the state of Maine: offering comprehensive, affordable health insurance for all.

Kudos also to Harvard Pilgrim/Health Plans for stepping in when Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield turned tail and abandoned the program in 2007.

The dedicated DHA staff in Lewiston never failed to be helpful and informative. Thank you, all.

I’m grateful to have been part of the experiment, and I regret only that later legislatures and our current governor showed less vision and spine than those who came before them.

Deborah Oliver

Camden

Blah, blah, blah

This affordable health care thing reminds me of back in the day when they passed the law that you had to buy car insurance. Everyone complained that congressmen caved to the big car insurance companies. I used to drive old cars with no seat belts and didn’t care. The people who had nice cars had to buy uninsured motorist insurance to protect themselves from people like me.

Now that everyone has to have car insurance the rates have gone down, and companies have sprung up to get a piece of the pie. I think the same thing will happen with this health insurance law. This is the beginning; rates will go down as soon as companies realize it is the law, and then they will want a piece of the pie, too.

I also remember everyone saying that minimum-wage earners were not going to be able to afford insurance and would have to quit their jobs and go on welfare, and it was the end of the world as we know it, and blah blah blah — just like now.

Jeff Brawn

Brewer

NSA — RIP

Collecting our data in the previously secret Department of Defense’s National Security Agency surveillance program, exposed by Edward Snowden, violates the fundamental principle that our military must not operate on American soil against American citizens. That principle has been embodied in law since the 1870s, the Posse Comitatus Act, preventing the Department of Defense, and consequently the NSA, from having any operations in the United States that impact the constitutional liberties of Americans.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret federal court created in 1978, is also involved in this travesty. The court, which authorizes overseas searches, is being misdirected to empower searches of U.S. citizens. Also, this surveillance program mocks the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment requirement that limits government searches to cases of “probable cause.” The NSA is legally allowed to carry out its surveillance efforts under the FISA law but not under the Constitution.

Eliot Chandler

Hampden

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