This week, the BDN’s editorial page interactive feature, ClickBack, asked readers about the Obama health care initiative, unemployment and speeding drivers in Bangor. Some of the comments made on the ClickBack page at bangordailynews.com included the following:
Should Congress pass Obama’s health care plan this summer?
Hopefully the current legislation never passes. It is not reform. It will not help a substantial number of people in its current form and it is getting worse.
Hopefully the current legislation passes ASAP. Health insurance executive salaries range from $9 million to $30 million. United Health, my AARP provider, pays their top executive over $15 million. Are my monthly premiums contributing to this outrageous compensation package? How much of my premium goes to pay for at least 30 TV ads for health insurance for AARP members? The president is right to put an end to these windfalls. Take health insurance away from robber barons and profiteers. Insurance companies are always going to turn a profit at the expense of those insured. At least give a new system a fair chance for success. We need new thinking now more than ever.
Republican strategists have been quite open about the fact that “slowing down the process” is a translation for “kill the bill.” The talk of bi-partisanship is puzzling. Do Republicans have any ideas about health care reform? The last time they waded into this pool, they were adamant about passing the Medicare prescription drug benefit with a subsidy for private insurers and a prohibition against negotiating lower Medicare drug prices. Where was the fiscal concern Snowe and Collins might have displayed, then?
Maine fishermen, farmers and small business owners are being crushed by health care costs. Reform needs to be implemented. Soon!
Cool countries like Spain, Denmark and Sweden have universal health coverage. I guess our poor old dumpy America doesn’t rate it. Can’t afford it, moan our congresspersons. Yet the U.S. House of Representatives coughed up $636 billion for the Pentagon faster than a Gov. Sanford flight to Argentina. Congress’s big solution? Make it illegal not to buy health insurance. Why not make it illegal not to buy orange juice too? Did it occur to you that the reason there are waiting lists for socialized medicine is because people who would otherwise suffer in silence are getting help?
When will unemployment begin to turn around?
Economic security will return when we start making things in this country again with jobs that do not require a technical school or college degree and do not harm our waters, atmosphere and wildlife.
It will not top out at 10 percent if they keep “stimulating” the economy the way they are. The more money they keep feeding a fiat monetary system, the poorer everyone gets.
Should Bangor police write more speeding tickets?
Bangor, like many Maine towns needs to first post realistic speed limits. Practically every street is posted at 25 mph, regardless of whether or not the street’s natural speed is much higher. For example Mount Hope is a wide, practically straight stretch, and from in-town until Pearl Street, it’s fairly residential, but from there out toward Hogan Road, well, I haven’t seen anyone ever drive slower than 35.
People need to stop clinging to their romanticized image of Bangor as a quaint small town. Bangor is growing and its continued well-being depends on that growth. With the growth comes more people and with more people comes more traffic.
So what if Bangor is one of the largest cities in Maine? City size and population growth doesn’t mean drivers should be allowed to speed through residential neighborhoods. If Bangor is growing, one reason may be the relative safety of its neighborhoods, and that includes drivers who obey traffic laws. There is absolutely no need for vehicles to be traveling any faster than 35 mph in residential areas.
Look for new ClickBack questions in Tuesday’s editorial column.