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Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017: Expand Medicaid, take a stand against Trump, Acadia fee hike unfair


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Expand Medicaid

On Nov. 7, voters will have the opportunity to decide whether Maine should join 31 other states and the District of Columbia in approving Medicaid expansion. There are a lot of good reasons why we should vote yes on Question 2, but the most important is because it is the right thing to do.

We currently have more than 28,000 people in our state who have absolutely no other option to access the health care they need, according to the Maine Hospital Association. Also, as many as 57,000 others are challenged to choose between having health care and feeding their families, according to the hospital association.

As a hospital administrator, each day I see the impact of not having health insurance on people’s lives. Although our hospital and health centers treat everyone regardless of their ability to pay, knowing that they don’t have health insurance is often what keeps people from seeking the treatment they desperately need.

As a nation, we recognize that despite the many challenges we face in having an affordable health care system, it is wrong to withhold from people the security to have their basic health care needs met.

There is much debate and uncertainty in Washington as to the long-term viability of any health care program. Joining the majority of other states, many of whom have advocated strongly to maintain their programs because of the value it has brought to their state, places us in the mainstream of those negotiations. But the most important reason we should vote yes on Question 2 is because it is the right thing to do.

Arthur J. Blank

President and CEO

MDI Hospital

Bar Harbor

Balance needs of all voters

I strongly believe in education and good schools, but I also believe we need to look out for all residents of Brunswick. I love this town. I own a home here, grew up here and am still here. I want to stay here, and I want all my fellow residents to be able to stay here if they want to. I want to be able to welcome all people to Brunswick, young and older.

We must try to look at how every issue is going to affect different parts and the whole. I intend to hold fast on a smaller tax increase, especially with the new school coming in a couple years. I intend to support growth, thus increase our tax base. I intend to support schools, but at a realistic pace.

We need to look for ways to encourage less waste as our landfill is required to be closed in a few years. Our roads, fire department, police and municipal issues need much more attention and we must balance the budget so that is possible.

It is not easy, and there is often opposing needs for the same tax dollars. But as I make a decision on how to vote on the issues that come before us, I can only promise to look at issues and try to balance the needs of all. I promise to do my best to be fair to all residents. Please vote, and remember there are several other important referendums beside the town issues.

Kathy E. Wilson

Brunswick

Take a stand against Trump

Although “the Republican leadership largely looked the other way” after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s declaration of conscience about President Donald Trump, his speech throws down the gauntlet for others to consider their stand.

Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith’s “ Declaration of Conscience” was more than “just a piece of stirring rhetoric.” She eventually became an icon for all who prize decency in government. It took years for others to arrive at her judgment about Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy. History has not been kind to McCarthy. An English newspaper wrote, “America was the cleaner by his fall.”

We remain in a situation where “ everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.”

The rising chorus of women empowered to speak out publicly to unmask male predators and abusers in elective office and the media gives hope that our collective moral edge is being sharpened.

Despite the dangerous behavior of Trump, there has yet been no call to remove him. The faux appearance of unity and support for Trump displayed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cannot conceal the fact that their moral position is precisely identical: that is, it doesn’t exist. It is two dogs fighting for the same bone of a once grand old party.

Republicans of strong conscience may yet “see the cure.”

Robert F. Lyons

Kennebunk

Acadia fee hike unfair

Regarding the editorial titled ” Park Fee Hike is Suspect.” I have to take exception with the statement in paragraph three that “This is not an outrageous increase. In fact, $70 for a week of access … is a bargain.”

Perhaps $70 for a week of access is a bargain, but my wife and I have been in the lodging business in both Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor and have 18 years of figures showing that the average length of stay is around three days. Many of our guests have asked why the park does not issue a daily pass. We have approached the park on this issue several times over the years with no luck.

Additionally, we have watched the tremendous increase in tour bus traffic throughout the park. The fee increase request leaves out commercial vehicles. The National Park Service website says, “The $70 per vehicle fee would cover all occupants of a single, non-commercial vehicle for 7 days; the $50 per motorcycle fee would cover all occupants of a single motorcycle for 7 days; and the $30 per person fee would be for individuals entering on bike, foot, etc. for 7 days.”

It seems more than little unfair if the park service is only looking to increase the cost for individuals and families, whether on foot, bicycle, motorcycle or car, and is not looking to spread the increase to commercial vehicles as well. A $10 daily pass would perhaps be an alternative leaving both the park and visitors happy.

Bryan Stevens

Mount Desert

 


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