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Friday, Aug. 11, 2017: Sen. Collins didn’t flip on health care, Trump immigration restrictions, honoring those laid to rest

Collins didn’t flip on health care

Amy Fried’s critique of Sen. Susan Collins is a poor attempt at revisionist history. Her Aug. 9 BDN column gets many so many things wrong it’s hard to know where to begin.

Fried conveniently omits that throughout the recent health care debate, Collins was one of the first and most vocal critics of the impact the House and the Senate bills would have had on Maine’s people, their premiums and their health care providers. She continuously raised concerns about the process of the House voting before the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis and criticized the lack of Senate hearings. This is why national news outlets repeatedly lauded Collins’ steady opposition, calling her “ the most consistent [Senator] of them all,” “ a model of consistency,” and praising her for “ mak[ing] her decision early and stick[ing] to it.”

Collins meets with thousands — literally thousands — of constituents every year on a number of issues, including health care. She has cast many difficult votes, and she always values her constituents’ input. This past year, Collins participated in forums, hosted large and small group meetings, met with rural nursing home and hospital executives, and consulted with other experts. These meetings reinforced her serious concerns with the Senate and House health care plans and helped her reach the inescapable conclusion that the bills would have been extremely harmful to Maine.

Fried is right about one thing: Collins listens to Mainers. To suggest, however, that Collins shifted or flipped her position during the months-long health care debate is patently false.

Annie Clark

Communications director

Office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins

Washington, D.C.

Trump immigration restrictions

At Husson University, I met a young woman who has come to the United States from the Ivory Coast because she wanted to learn English and become a nurse. Advantages for further education beyond high school in her native country are difficult if not impossible in the lottery system used to fill student quotas. She chose Maine because education costs were more reasonable here than in some of the other states she had considered.

Our president announced last week that green card issuance would be cut by half and preference would be given to immigrants who speak English and have an established skill or trade. His (il)logic for restricting immigration is that these people will take jobs that U.S. citizens should have. If Gov. Paul LePage was working for our state and, in greater part, for our country he would inform the president that the nursing shortage in Maine is being filled, not by U.S. citizens but by Canadians.

Maine has the oldest population in the country. We are aging out of the work system. Without fresh, eager youth, soon there will be too few workers to carry on. Bangor has seen this problem and is striving to make our city a place for people from away welcoming and hospitable; a place where they can live, train, work and eventually help to support our economy by paying federal, state and local taxes.

To quote Aphra Behn, “Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.” Let us hope President Donald Trump understands this also.

Sheila C. Stratton

Bangor

Honoring those laid to rest

The town of Dover-Foxcroft knows my brother Allan Snyder was laid to rest July 22. He was a decorated war veteran with the U.S. Air Force and past fire chief with the Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department.

I would like to ask where were the fire department, its chief and the town on the day Allan was laid to rest? The fire department was given plenty of notice about the funeral. I told several members of the fire department and my other brother also informed several different officers and members of our request of a fire department funeral and last call for Allan.

As long as I can remember, the fire department has paid their last respect for a fallen fellow fire fighter. So it’s was a sad day when the fire department was not present for Allan’s funeral.

At this point, we can not changed any of the events of that day, but hopefully a policy will be enacted that the town officials, not just the fire chief, will decide who will be honored with the final call. All I can say is shame on the fire department and chief for ignoring Allan on the day of his funeral. He deserved that and so much more from the fire department and town that he loved and served so proudly.

Karen Snyder McNaughton

Charleston

 


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