February 19, 2020
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Friday, January 17, 2020: Confused by King criticism, Warren disappoints in presidential campaign, time for universal health care

Confused by King criticism

I’m puzzled by those criticizing Stephen King, for he had no role in choosing nominees for the Academy Awards categories most criticized for lacking diversity. As someone whose own work is subject to the judgement and/or whims of critics, I’d be appalled to be acknowledged only because I was a “minority,” in my case a woman military historian in a man’s field.

Diane Smith

Holden

Warren disappoints in presidential campaign

Perhaps campaigning for president is not Elizabeth Warren’s skill set. In other roles, her fierceness showed her to be a warrior for justice. Here, she seems a condescending scold. Her focus was a laser illuminating complex issues, here it seems a rigid fixity of mind. Her tenacity served well articulated policies, here it seems an inability to let go of unformed aspirations.

More troubling than her increasingly bizarre and sometimes hypocritical attacks on rival Democrats is her persistently dodgy relation to the truth. Yes, if “holier than thou” is your brand, truthiness is a bad look. But more importantly, if Warren wants us to trust her on the really big things, then she has to get the little things right.

In the recent debate, Warren asserted that she was the only candidate on stage “who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the last 30 years.” Bernie Sanders replied that he had defeated a Republican incumbent in 1990. She should have acknowledged this rather than disputing whether 1990 was in fact 30 years ago. Sometimes Warren’s persistence has been very good and worthy, but here she looked to me like Wile E. Coyote going over the cliff. This is a problem.

If I may be permitted a sports analogy, being chief executive is like being the captain of a soccer team. If your skill set is swimming in your lane, then perhaps you ought not be running for president.

Annlinn Kruger

Bar Harbor

Time for universal health care

A recent study by the Maine Center for Economic Policy on behalf of Maine AllCare showed that a universal, publicly funded health care system covering every Maine resident could save Maine $1.5 billion in total health care spending. This report went to our governor, legislators and the media and yet they are having the same old conversation about tweaking the existing insurance based system. This does a disservice to the people of Maine who deserve better.

Under the existing system, health care spending was 25 percent of Maine’s economy in 2018, and is projected to be 27 percent in 2026. That’s $16,000 per person per year.

Under a plan to cover everyone in Maine with no fee at point of service, 80 percent of families and individuals would see a boost in household income due to savings on insurance and out-of-pocket health costs. Most employers would pay the same or less than they do now, with predictable costs based on number of employees while eliminating the burden of choosing and managing coverage plans. Workers compensation premiums would be cut in half. Care would continue to be provided by the same private doctors and hospitals that do it now. These providers would be reimbursed at Medicare rates, and elimination of uncompensated charity care and claims processing would ensure that they continue to receive reasonable compensation that covers their costs.

Mainers want universal, publicly funded healthcare. It’s time for the media and legislature to get on board.

Peter Homer

Southwest Harbor

 


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