May 21, 2019
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019: Trump derangement syndrome, prescription drug prices, pass red flag bill

Diagnosing Trump derangement syndrome

I thought this notion of Trump derangement syndrome was someone’s fantasy, and just more political gamesmanship.

I changed my mind while watching, and taking notes, during a congressional hearing on the “Oversight of the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy” on Feb. 26.

U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, in his opening remarks, accused border officials of “tearing children away from their parents,” and said “when a stranger rips a child from a parent’s arms without any plan to reunify them, it is called kidnapping.”

Committee member Zoe Lofgren, D-California, repeated the same outrageous comment about “children ripped” from their parents’ arms, adding that officials resorted to “cruelty.”

President Donald Trump has become the lightning rod for this mindless type of invective.

How to explain Nadler’s comments? One would think this type of rhetoric would be avoided in congressional hearings, where the focus should be on legislation, policy and the debate on issues that concern Americans. How does that help the legislative process?

It doesn’t. People making these statements about Trump are not really thinking about the issues, but simply trying to disparage the president. Trump derangement syndrome is real.

Robert Casimiro

Bridgton

Prescription drug prices

Last week, I presented LD 1389, An Act To Address Transparency, Accountability and Oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers, to the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee.

The bill, based on recommendations of the 128th Legislature’s Task Force on Health Coverage for All of Maine, would require that pharmacy benefit managers, which are entities that manage an insurer’s prescription drug coverage, be registered by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. It sets standards for registration requirements that pharmacy benefit managers would have to meet and follow.

The goal of this legislation is to help address the high cost of prescription drugs and the impacts it has on many Maine families by implementing the recommendations of the bipartisan task force. Pharmacy benefit managers contract with health care plans to administer prescription drug benefits, and oftentimes, their practices benefit insurance companies with no savings passed on to consumers.

I think it’s time for lawmakers to take a closer look at this practice so Maine families can better afford the medications they need to live full, healthy lives. A work session has been scheduled for this bill on Wednesday.

Sen. Matt Pouliot

Kennebec

Pass red flag bill

As the Maine Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and as a parent concerned about the unprecedented level of gun violence in our country, I applaud Ellsworth police Chief Glenn Moshier for writing in the BDN and speaking out to support common-sense legislation like the red flag bill, LD 1312, before the Maine Legislature.

All too often, family members and law enforcement are faced with situations where they see warning signs and know that trouble is brewing. And, all too often, they are forced to wait until a crime or tragedy occurs before action is taken.

Maine has a chance to support families who seek help and support law enforcement by passing LD 1312 this session. Red flag bills provide a legal pathway to intervene before a tragedy occurs.

An Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of mass shootings from 2009 to 2017 revealed that in 51 percent of incidents the shooter exhibited warning signs that they posed a risk to themselves or others before the shooting.

Mass shootings are not the only cases to be averted. Maine has a suicide rate above the national average. Family members are often the first to recognize depression and despair in their loved ones, yet are helpless to seek intervention to temporarily remove firearms until after the unimaginable occurs.

Let’s agree that the easy access to a firearm in a time of crisis is simply not in anyone’s best interest: the person suffering, family members who must helplessly standby or law enforcement.

Kathleen McFadden

Prospect Harbor

 



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