LePage needs a history lesson

Gov. Paul LePage needs to study his history instead of criticizing U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Today’s Republican Party is nothing like the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. If LePage did some homework, he would find out that the Republicans and the Democrats have pretty much switched platforms. LePage should learn about the history of his party.

Judith Rivera-Gallant

Morrill

Trump lessons

Here’s what I learned from Donald Trump’s first press conference in months.

He has a limited vocabulary, repeating the same words — “great,” “terrific,” “tremendous” and “sad” — over and over. Trump rambles on, and he does not answer questions.

The praise he lavishes upon himself suggests neediness as well as megalomania. He appears to live in a fantasy world, where he is dear leader.

Peg Cruikshank

Corea

Maine needs Obamacare

As the date nears when Congress will decide whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has allowed millions of Americans who previously were uninsured to afford health care coverage, Maine needs Sen. Susan Collins to take a stand against repealing the act.

The law’s benefits for Mainers and all Americans are widespread, including cost assistance for low-income families and individuals; coverage of contraceptives for women; coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, such asthma or arthritis; and allowing young people to stay covered by their parents insurance until age 26.

Many Mainers risk losing access to lifesaving health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, and Collins owes to it to her constituents to support the continuation of this act. Those concerned about repeal should reach out to Collins’ office.

Meghan Frisard

Orono

The whole story about DeVos

Matthew Gagnon in his Jan. 12 BDN column fails to mention education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and her husband have invested their own money in a Virginia-based company that operates for-profit charter schools. It sounds a bit like leaving the henhouse door open for the fox hovering about and a bit troublesome to me. Doesn’t Gagnon believe his readers deserve to know the rest of the story?

Steve Hayes

Presque Isle

Mayhew puts WIC at risk

Rarely do we get a behind-the-scenes view of Maine and federal government interplay as with the Jan. 11 BDN article about how the Maine Department of Health and Human Services lost $1.4 million for a nutrition program for women, infants and children.

Having the privilege of administering WIC programs in my 40-year career in public health, I can attest to the benefits of good nutrition in the critical prenatal and early years of life. It helps head off unnecessary MaineCare expenditures for neonatal hospital stays, reduces risk of ongoing care for developmental problems and promoting healthy brain development crucial for success in life. The WIC program is worthy of the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Given its successes, why would DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Gov. Paul LePage insist on putting a picture on an EBT card for WIC recipients? They have pressed the issue for 18 months despite federal concerns about “potential barriers … to participant access” and the fact that there is a “high degree of program integrity and fraud prevention measures” already in place.

Clearly, the WIC program in Maine is on life support, and Mayhew and LePage appear to have given a dire advanced directive — do not resuscitate — for it. Who will stand up for our neediest pregnant women and children? Will Maine be the first state in the U.S. to kill this proven service? Guess who will pay the added costs for infants born small or children requiring special supports for preventable developmental problems caused by poor nutrition? You and I will pick up the tab.

Bob Kohl

Liberty

We need Obamacare

We live in rural Maine. One of our friends who owns his own business got health care last year because of the Affordable Care Act. He was able to have a costly test he otherwise couldn’t afford because of it. Everything turned out OK.

People call the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” to try to make people hate it. It is insurance you buy just like before but more affordable for those who can’t pay big prices. We need the Affordable Care Act.

Don and Leslie Bush

Cherryfield

It’s time for a ride

You have to wonder what the Trump voters are thinking about their health insurance now that the Republicans want to repeal without any replacement policy.

If members of Congress were to lose their health insurance perk and have to purchase insurance like the rest of the nation, I have a pretty good idea how the repeal vote would go.

Donald Trump told them what they wanted to hear. Now we will have to sit down, buckle up and hang on, because we are in for a ride.

Richard Crocker

Holden

Learn to communicate

Having become a bit sick of all the political wrangling in the BDN letters to the editor, I thought that a new controversy might be refreshing. Emmet Meara’s Jan. 17 BDN column about the misuse of words was humorous but actually addressed a very real problem: We don’t teach English literacy anymore.

I have three years of college (it wasn’t Harvard), and I spent my career as a construction engineer and manager, writing specifications, proposals, reports and other documents. It was important that I used the proper words and understood their meanings. (I actually did know the definitions of, and the differences between, all of Meara’s examples.)

I also spent 35 years as a municipal official in Pennsylvania, writing ordinances, studies, reports for which literacy was equally important. Too many of our high school and college graduates cannot string five words together to make a coherent sentence, and the misuse of words is rampant (“flourishing” or “spreading unchecked”). Unfortunately, many of the BDN’s reporters fall in this category, Meara not among them.

While it’s fun to make jokes about it, we can’t have rational discussions if we can’t communicate intelligently, and we’re seeing a lot of that these days. Thanks, Emmet, for a fun column. But I hope most of us actually take the matter seriously.

Donald Lodge

Southwest Harbor