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Tuesday, April 2, 2013: Medicaid cuts, gun control and politicians’ benefits

BDN letters

I have enjoyed all the accolades I have received for my Feb. 19 BDN letter to the editor, “Governor and pain meds.” In it, I discussed my experience coping with fibromyalgia and a few other chronic conditions.

I understand the letter has been well circulated throughout hospitals and doctors’ offices in the area. I am glad to hear that I have a voice and that many others understand what Maine is going through with Medicaid cuts.

But I want to know, for those readers who agree with my statements: What are you going to do about it?

If I keep writing letters to the governor — and I will — I am just one voice that can be easily ignored, no matter how many letters I send. However, if we all write letters to the governor letting him know how he is hurting us and how he is hurting Maine people, it is more likely that he will take notice.

We, as the people of Maine, must remind Gov. Paul LePage that he works for us. I challenge everyone who read my last letter and who are reading this letter to not just post my letter on a Facebook wall or circulate it through the office.

I want everyone to use the power of the pen and tell LePage that you agree with me. Tell him how he is hurting people, patients and Maine overall. I want to hear that LePage gets flooded with letters telling him how his choices are overwhelmingly wrong for Maine’s well-being.

Jeanette Smith

Old Town

Feel good ideas?

It’s a dark and snowy morning Down East, limiting my usual activities, so I would like to respond to the March 27 letters by Gerald Khiel and Charles Putnam. Both have taken the liberal point of view on gun control and support feel-good proposals that in my view aren’t logical or workable.

Khiel wants us to “wake up” and support a ban on assault rifles. History tells us this won’t work. We banned alcohol in the 1920s; the black market trade flourished. We have banned illegal drugs; we all know one can buy these drugs all across our country. Why are the results going to be any different with guns?

Putnam wants U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to not be beholden to the “extreme” National Rifle Association but to support the liberal view that background checks are the perfect answer. Note that as usual, if you don’t agree with the liberal viewpoint, yours is extreme rhetoric.

As I understand background checks, if you don’t pass muster you can’t have a weapon. Suppose I’m a criminal or a mentally deranged person who wants to do harm with a gun. Let’s see, to get one I need a background check. Oops, I can’t pass. Or I can get one on the black market anywhere without a check. What would I do? It’s not workable, but it sure does feel good.

There, you have my take. Ask yourself, whose views are more logical? If logically it doesn’t work, why do it?

Ron Looke


Bridges’ comment relevant

As I was reading the letters to the editor in the BDN on March 30, I found Leroy Bridges’ comment on retirement pensions for the elected public servants to be very relevant for what is happening in Augusta. We need to have retirement and medical benefits for the elected officials in Augusta stopped. We the people never voted for them to get lifetime benefits for running for public office.

If Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, as described in a BDN news article on March 25, wants to submit a meaningful piece of legislation she should submit a bill to stop her retirement and medical benefits after leaving office. The state is looking at a $880 million dollar shortfall. Best place to start is in your own house.

R. Scott Jellison


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