Articles by Amy Fried


As economic and snowstorms hit us, how do we dig out?

on Jan. 27, 2015, at 8:51 a.m.
This big storm put me in mind of what a friend, the photographer Jeff Kirlin, said the other day: “I love the sound of the Socialist snowplows scraping up my Socialist streets.” We pay taxes for government services that serve the public good — in this case, the ability to …

Since King’s “Dream” speech, where are black representatives in the House?

on Jan. 19, 2015, at 11:31 a.m.
On this day commemorating the work of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s worth looking at one political metric — representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to Eric Ostermeir, in the 51 years since the “I have a dream” speech, 26 states have elected black people to …

How big a sham is the case seeking to gut Obamacare subsidies?

on Jan. 16, 2015, at 11:56 a.m.
Signups for health insurance through the ACA exchange are going swimingly, with Maine hitting the 2015 target more than a month before open enrollment ends. Now, with the Supreme Court to hear a case that could end subsidies to Maine people (since we have no state-based exchange), research shows how …

With LePage’s budget, Maine must decide on the reality it wants

on Jan. 13, 2015, at 12:57 p.m.
When Gov. Paul LePage unveiled his budget proposal last week, it was reminiscent (but partly in a good way) of something said about a decade ago by an aide to President George W. Bush. This aide, widely reputed to be Karl Rove, told journalist Ron Suskind that reporters were part …

No, Gov. LePage is not popular

on Jan. 08, 2015, at 11:44 a.m.
Perhaps it’s because Gov. LePage was just sworn in for his second term (and, by the way, congratulations), but there’s been an odd tendency for some newspaper articles to refer to the governor as popular. It’s odd because “popular,” while somewhat vague, implies that at least a majority support and/or …

In his second term, will LePage expand MaineCare? MD group predicts he will

on Jan. 07, 2015, at 10:40 a.m.
One prominent Maine group suggested recently that Gov. LePage will make a U-turn on Medicaid expansion. In his first term, Gov. LePage was a stalwart opponent of the Affordable Care Act, refusing to set up a state exchange and doing nothing to publicize the federal exchange, calling the IRS’s involvement …

A momentous year in health policy — and the people who put it into perspective

on Dec. 30, 2014, at 9:38 a.m.
It wasn’t the cold of the day that deeply chilled the six-year-old’s parents, although, with a low of three degrees, Feb. 28 this year was colder than average. That winter day little Wynter Przybylski of Brewer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Soon after Wynter’s cancer was diagnosed, a tumor …

What parts of Obamacare are popular and what is not?

on Dec. 29, 2014, at 12:06 p.m.
Nearly eight out of ten Americans like one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. After a year that saw an incredible drop in the percentage of Americans uninsured, we’re in the midst of the second year of signups for private insurance through the Obamacare insurance marketplaces. Those marketplaces …

Texas, yes, Texas, may expand Medicaid

on Dec. 26, 2014, at 10:55 a.m.
Texas has been a refusenik state — with no state health exchange and no Medicaid expansion for adults — but that could change. The incoming governor recently suggested that he’s looking at an alternative to traditional Medicaid, the one negotiated by Utah with the federal government but not yet adopted …

Kidnapped, tortured Canadian engineer rendered through Bangor

on Dec. 19, 2014, at 8:34 a.m.
Imagine you’re an engineer with a degree from McGill University in Montreal. You’re on your way home from a family trip abroad and you stop at JFK Airport in New York. Suddenly your life changes. You’re seized by the CIA and shuttled about, eventually ending up in in Syria where …

Reject moral relativism in the face of terrorism and threat

on Dec. 16, 2014, at 11:35 a.m.
How would you respond if an “intellectually challenged” American with no involvement in violence was held by another country and tortured so a tape of him crying could be used to try to get a family member to supply information? What would you feel if an American imprisoned by non-Americans …

What place did partisanship play in the ballot mystery?

on Dec. 09, 2014, at 4:45 p.m.
Poof, the mystery ballots have dematerialized. Today it was discovered that the 21 mystery ballots for Senate District 25 — where it appeared there were more ballots than voters on the voter roster — did not really exist. What happened was a mistake, not malfeasance. One batch of 21 ballots …

These three images show why aging Maine desperately needs diversity

on Dec. 08, 2014, at 11:43 a.m.
Maine, the whitest state in the nation, is aging. We have to turn that around. Maine needs younger people to maintain and improve our economy. We’ve heard that for awhile. A new article by Scott Thistle notes another aspect of the situation — the shrinking number of 18-34 year olds in …

Fully investigate the case of the materializing ballots

on Dec. 02, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.
A mystery and a mess of an economy will greet the Maine Senate when it is sworn in on Wednesday. How one is handled will affect how well it can deal with the other. The mystery might be called the case of the materializing ballots. According to the sign-in sheets …

The Bangor success story yet to be written

on Nov. 18, 2014, at 9:40 a.m.
There’s a story still to be written about our Queen City, Bangor. It’s a tale with many characters and plot twists and, despite many challenges, we can make it turn out well. Luckily, Bangor has excellent public leadership, with a strong city council and an outstanding school department. Less than …

Even as GOP posted wins, most Mainers support Obamacare

on Nov. 17, 2014, at 11:05 a.m.
In a good year for Republicans in Maine (and in much of the country) and, as the health insurance exchange (at opens for enrollment, it turns out that Mainers who voted in 2014 support Obamacare or something that goes further. Just take a look at this question from the …

People with Obamacare exchange policies like them

on Nov. 14, 2014, at 8:55 p.m.
As open enrollment starts for health care policies bought through the health care exchange/marketplace at, Gallup has released new data showing what people who used them before think about their coverage. In past polls, Gallup has shown that the Affordable Care Act led to a big drop in the …

How LePage won a second term

on Nov. 05, 2014, at 11:04 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage won a big victory on Tuesday, with a larger percentage of the vote than in 2010. That night he evoked a theme that resonates with all Americans, saying, “[E]very person born in Maine should have the opportunity to carve out their piece of the American dream.” How …

LePage’s lousy public health record, Cain and Raye pictured, and a final poll

on Nov. 03, 2014, at 1:16 p.m.
Here are three stories for the end of this election season: 1. LePage and his administration made a significant error for Maine’s health.  Maine’s public health system is involved in tracking illnesses, informing people who may have been exposed to illness and determining if quarantines are needed In a case …

In LePage’s Maine, health coverage looks more like the South than New England

on Oct. 31, 2014, at 11:30 a.m.
The year’s governor’s race will clearly and indisputably affect how many Mainers will have health coverage and thus how many will suffer and die prematurely. A map, based on data from Civis Analytics and Enroll America, shows health insurance coverage by county. While every state but New England has counties …
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