Nail on the head
The BDN’s editorial “Ronald Reagan in Perspective” (BDN, July 1) was a refreshing change from the frequent lavish accolades accorded his administration. He set the path that led to where we find ourselves today. There were other contributors, of course, but he convinced the general public of the desirability of less government, more freedom, providing the room for exploitation in many sectors of our industries, and at the same time, gaining moral approval of the resulting sleaze.
This is not to mention the gross misunderstandings of his world view, the destruction of liberal thought, and his demeaning of those who disagreed. His contribution was a disaster in the making, for which we are paying today — and tomorrow.
The editorial hit the nail on the head.
My wife and I have been using Down East Community Hospital in Machias for over 15 years. We can expressly state that the staff of doctors and nurses are the most capable and are the most compassionate persons. Their attitude toward patients is an expression of friendliness and patience. We have always felt we were among a staff who wanted and wished a speedy recovery of ailments that brought us to the hospital.
May God bless them all!
David H. Frank
This letter is in response to Alison Johnson of Birch Harbor who wrote of her love for children and home-schooling her children, “No ‘dread’ for kids” (BDN, July 5). I write to respectfully say “Amen” to Alison! I wholeheartedly believe that every parent should share her love and enthusiasm for the next generation. I truly applaud her commitment and feel sadness for those parents who don’t share her view.
I am a woman who hasn’t felt a deep passion to be a mother and thankfully realized that early on. From the time I was a teen, I felt that a person (man or woman) should truly want to be a parent before making the decision to be one. I never got to that point, and therefore have chosen to remain childless.
Being a parent is a choice and a huge responsibility. Choose well. It’s OK, in fact, preferable, to choose to remain childless.
What happened to killers?
Having lived in Maine only since 1999, I can scarcely imagine the horror and impact of three local teens killing another young man, for any reason, 25 years ago in Bangor. And then getting off with a slap on the wrist.
While the BDN’s July 7 front page story about Charlie Howard was interesting, it would have been of further interest to me and likely to others to have examined how these three boys, Daniel Ness, Shawn I. Mabry and James Frances Baines, ultimately turned out. A sidebar on where they are today and what they’ve done with their lives to either atone or continue their lives of crime would have been fascinating.
In his July 7 letter to the editor, John Frary predicts ruinous costs to Maine’s 2nd District from carbon cap-and-trade legislation passed by the House and being considered in the Senate. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated such a program would cost $175 per household annually, a figure that does not include benefits, such as energy efficiency, not having to breathe in so much pollution, and a slowing of the effects of climate change.
One wonders what Mr. Frary would propose if he doesn’t like cap and trade — a carbon tax? Continuing as we are now? In fact, as Yale Environment 360 points out, “the days of freely dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are coming to an end.” Those concerned about U.S. energy independence and climate change agree that emitting carbon is no longer going to be free.
If the U.S. doesn’t start soon on developing clean energy technologies, it will be left in the dust economically by countries that do — such as China, already an innovator in renewable energy. For that reason, the cap-and-trade option has attracted many supporters — including big businesses such as General Electric, Dow Chemical, Shell Oil and Duke Energy.
I commend Maine’s representatives, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, for voting for the cap-and-trade bill in the House, and urge Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to support a strong bill curbing greenhouse gases. Our future depends on it.
Consider the costs
If our elected congressional representatives really want to understand the health care concerns of their constituents, then let them drop the generous health care plan that we the taxpayers provide. They just might discover that (like those of us who are not covered by a work policy, make more than the MaineCare income cutoff line, and are under 65) it is the most expensive, stress-producing aspect of their financial lives.
They could write a check for $2,930 every month for “standard” coverage ($35,160 a year) which would pay for most major medical expenses their family might incur minus a 20 percent co-pay requirement. But to get a better understanding, they should sit up late many nights and sweat and cross their fingers and pray a lot and opt to pay $500 a month for the $15,000 deductible plan, because that’s all most of us can afford.
But don’t be caught short and only put away $15,000 to cover your family’s health care needs. You need to pay the deductible for two members of your family – that’s $30,000 before our nearly “one-payer state private insurance company” kicks in. Should they opt to forego coverage altogether, to keep money in the bank to pay other bills, they might find, like I did, that overnight their healthy, robust 12-year-old is facing over $20,000 in emergency eye surgery bills.
In our great democracy, why are the publicly funded single-payer systems of Medicare and MaineCare accepted as a reasonable way to take care of our citizens, while a single-payer system to take care of the rest of us is nasty “socialism”? Equal treatment for all demands a single-payer system for all.