Credit: George Danby / BDN

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

A doctor’s frustration

The most frustrating part of being a doctor in Maine is having to navigate a health system where Mainers with health insurance get better care than those without health insurance. Nearly every day, I am forced to recommend inferior treatments because my patients can’t afford a first-line treatment.

Meanwhile, health insurance is one of the most profitable businesses in the U.S. As part of the Affordable Care Act, health insurers have been taxed to subsidize care, but the federal tax lapses in 2021. Instead of allowing a giant windfall for insurance companies, Maine should join other states (including Colorado and New Jersey) and tax insurers at the state, instead of the federal, level.

Maine can capture the state portion of Health Insurance Tax and invest it in Maine families who are priced out of the insurance market. According to Families USA, Maine could recoup $45 million in 2021 by continuing an existing tax on insurers.

If we don’t act this year, we lose. If we seize this opportunity now, struggling Maine families could benefit for years to come.

Peter Millard

Belfast

Our dog’s story

The purpose of this letter is to acquaint others to the debilitating disease that killed our dog so that their dog would not suffer the same fate. We had a Welsh Corgi, Dylan, who developed a problem with one of his rear legs last November. We were not concerned because the leg did not hurt him.

On Aug. 7, we noticed that his other rear leg was problematic to the point where he could not stand up for longer than a few minutes. Two days later, he could not stand at all. He had Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). My husband ordered a Corgi wheelchair which came two days later. By the time it arrived Dylan was a paraplegic. There was thankfully no pain.

The wheelchair worked for several days until he began to lose strength in his shoulders. On Aug. 14 everything began to shut down and at a rapid pace. He died on Aug. 17.

There is a DNA test that is available through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The test identifies dogs who are clear, those who are carriers and those dogs who are at risk. According to OFA test results from 1974 to 2019, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a 53.7 percent at-risk score. Hopefully this test will see widespread use and DM can be eliminated.

Joan Duplessis

Bucksport

Collins means business

This November I am voting to reelect Sen. Susan Collins. I do not know much about her opponent, but I do know Collins. She was born and raised in Maine working in the family business. I may not agree with all her votes but I do trust that she will study the issue and decide on the best course of action for Maine and the country.

When COVID-19 shut down our economy, the Maine Legislature, led in part by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, shut down and went home. Collins went to work, getting the Paycheck Protection Program written and passed to get immediate help to our small businesses and the families that depend on them.

I cannot name another senator with her connections on both sides of the aisle, her knowledge of what small businesses needed and her ability to get the package passed. Her time at the Small Business Administration and her family business gave her great insight into the issues and made Collins uniquely qualified to help Maine’s small-business community.

As a result of the PPP loan that my company received, 50-plus Maine families were able to get through this pandemic without their incomes being affected. We were able to continue buying tools, equipment, materials and vehicles locally helping other local businesses survive. The PPP loan program Collins created helped 28,000 Maine small businesses and the roughly 240,000 jobs that they support.

Collins’ consistent support for Maine’s small businesses led to her recent endorsement from The National Federation of Independent Business. Please join me in voting for our Susan Collins.

David Plowman

President of PDQ Door

Hampden

Our threatened democracy

We have lately been subjected to large signs proclaiming, “Trump. Make America Great Again 2020.” In 2016, Donald Trump campaigned on the slogan “Make America Great Again.” If he, instead of disregarding the emoluments clause in our constitution and fattening the pockets of his family and businesses (among many other egregious failings), had done anything constructive for our country over the past three years and eight months, these signs would be superfluous.

As it is, they clearly represent an admission of failure by the Trump administration. It is time for a president Joe Biden, a vice president Kamala Harris, and an administration free of cronies, with brains and plans for the future of our threatened democracy.

Edwana Meisner

James McCleave

Orono