Support LD 675

It is unfair that drug prices keep going up, even for medications that have been on the market for decades. Too often consumers are shocked to find out the prescription they have taken for years suddenly has a drastic price increase.

Currently, the Legislature is considering a package of bills meant to reduce drug prices in Maine, including LD 675, An Act To Protect Maine Consumers from Unsupported Price Increases on Prescription Medicines.

In March 2020, I paid $3.79 for a 90-day supply of a medication. In March 2021, I paid $22.44. This is a 485 percent increase in cost. Drug manufacturers are raising the costs of prescriptions without any explanation, leaving us obligated to pay more for our necessary medications. I am lucky to be able to still afford my medication with the price increase, but many are not.

Mainers should not have to choose between taking their medication or paying for other necessities, such as utilities or food. If passed, LD 675 will help Mainers afford their prescription drugs without having to sacrifice. I am urging readers to reach out to their legislators and ask them to support LD 675.

Rosalyn Fisher

Bangor

Collins wrong on DC statehood

On Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins told CNN’s State of the Union that she is opposed to D.C. statehood, instead in favor of D.C. “retroceding” to Maryland. Collins indicates that she supports voting representation for D.C. residents and thinks this is a compromise, but in reality, retrocession is undemocratic and racist.

The 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C. have voted overwhelmingly to become a state, not retrocede, and polling shows that Maryland residents also prefer D.C. statehood to absorbing D.C. Forcing retrocession on two unwilling parties violates the “consent of the governed” embedded in our Constitution. To look at our own history, Maine broke off from Massachusetts in 1820 — what if a far-away senator told us to return to the Bay State?

Collins also ignores that retrocession would compel the District’s majority Black and brown population to become part of a mostly-white state, which would exacerbate the erasure of Black and Brown voices in our government. D.C. would be the first state with a plurality of Black residents, and that historic representation is a cause worth fighting for here in Maine and across the country.

D.C. statehood is not just a D.C. issue — it’s a civil rights and voting rights issue. As Mainers, we are afforded the right of representation on Capitol Hill. We have the power to ensure that our elected officials advocate on behalf of Maine’s interests. By contrast, D.C. residents enjoy no autonomy over their local laws, and members of Congress living thousands of miles away (including Sens. Collins and Angus King) can dictate their local laws.

There is only one solution to this stain on our democracy: pass D.C. statehood.

Marie Follayttar

Executive Director

Mainers for Accountable Leadership

South Portland

Politicians work for us not corporations

For too long, politicians backed by dark money have worked for corporations and one-percenters, and not for the people they represent. Growing up, my mom always drilled into me that it is important to participate in democracy, to “let your voice be heard.” But as I grew older I started to learn that large corporations fund politicians’ campaigns in order to influence legislation.

This often harms workers and helps the people only at the top, while ordinary folks reap no benefits. I also learned about gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voting purges, oh my! I often hear from fellow young people that, “voting doesn’t work, what is the point?” But if voting doesn’t work, why does the ruling class try so hard to suppress people’s voices?

Why do states like Georgia and Texas keep trying to make it harder for American people to exercise their constitutional right to vote? If our vote didn’t count they wouldn’t try to suppress it.

We must pass the For The People Act so that everyone’s voices are heard equally — not just the voices of the 1 percent. It would eliminate gerrymandering, make automatic voter registration a reality in all 50 states, and get dark money out of politics. Most importantly, it would get our politicians back to working for us and not for corporations that don’t want what is best for the workers and consumers.

Zoe Reed

Orono