May 22, 2019
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Friday, Feb. 8, 2019: Economic brain power, Medicaid for All, shutdown threats

Medicaid for All

Please urge legislators to pass LD 1, a bill to assure protections of the Affordable Health Care Act will continue. And then urge them to move with all haste to write and pass Medicaid for All legislation. Medicare for All is not enough.

My recent two-day hospital stay verifies the complaint I read in an Ellsworth American letter to the editor about the “downward spiral” of health care. One imported temporary nurse was sarcastic and worse than no nurse. Told I was not to get up without help, when I called, he told me to unplug the IV and go by myself.

Now the bills are coming in. Charges from the hospital totaling over $22,610 don’t match statements from my Medicare Advantage plan, and they make the EpiPen scandal look puny: over $5,000 for pain management, room charges totaling over $10,000, surgical services do not include surgeon payment and total over $2,000, other smaller charges.

I could write reams about witnessing the downward spiral in quality of care since for-profit corporations took over our healthcare system. It is way past time to stop commercializing health care and move to a nonprofit system that rewards quality of patient care, accessibility and affordability

Alice Bolstridge

Presque Isle

Bear with me

The story of Maine Wardens rescuing bear cubs brought to mind two other stories. Last week, a 3-year-old in North Carolina — lost for three days with 20 degree nights and two inches of rain — survived without serious injury. He said that “a bear was his friend” which “looked after him.” So-called experts swore this is impossible: bears would not help children.

In the case of the cubs, Maine wardens placed one of the rescued cubs near an unrelated mother-bear, who “reached out with one paw, pulled it under her, and tucked it into her chin.” “[Mother-bears] aren’t too selective when they’re in the den.” Our wardens learned this when a puppy fell into a den and the mother-bear protected it. Couldn’t a bear possibly do the same for a human cub?

Sadly in the other story, a warden promptly shot a lost bear in my neighborhood in 2008. The response from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife: the warden followed policy to a T and “public safety was tantamount.” This leads the public to believe any wandering bear must be shot. Even a bear in New Jersey schoolyard was not “shot”, but tranquilized with a team approach, and relocated.

John Picone

Bangor

Shutdown threat no way to govern

The partial government shutdown is over. It is important to thank the 400,000 federal employees who stayed on the job, and to acknowledge the sacrifice and painful, costly impact on all 800,000 employees who went without pay for the duration. Thanks, as well, to the many individuals, organizations and businesses that provided an array of relief to these employees and their families.

Who knows yet what the cost has been to the rest of us in lost production, interrupted transportation networks and all the rest that government does for us? And how much danger are we in as a result of this shutdown? Yet the president threatens another shutdown. We all know that his 7th century technology — the wall — is ineffective and will not solve crime in our society.

This horrendous and dangerous abuse perpetrated on us by the president must never happen again. The uncertainty he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are creating for all Americans is unallowable. This is no way to run a government. We must let our senators know that they should stand firm against this president and his dangerous agenda.

Alan Parks

Bar Harbor

A thimbleful of knowledge

Take a look at two of the bills getting attention in the state Legislature. The first deals with restaurant servers being put on mandatory wages rather than a base plus tips approach (and has since been defeated).

The next beauty deals with state takeover of Central Maine Power. Can you imagine where our cost per kilowatt-hour is headed? Right into the bureaucrat toilet stratosphere.

This brings up an old adage: Which has more economic brain power, a thimble or the collective Democratic Party? The answer is obvious – the thimble!

Robert Holland

Rockland

 



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