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

New reimbursement rate is great news

There was incredible news out of Augusta recently regarding the significant increase in Mainecare Reimbursement Rates for Residential Substance Use Disorder treatment! Wellspring is extremely pleased with the  new rates, effective Nov. 1, 2021. They will enable the programs to hire for long-vacant positions and to pay our hard-working staff wages worthy of their professional and superhero status.

The last increase to Mainecare SUD rates was  more than 10 years ago. As a public entity serving the most economically vulnerable people who suffer from the disease of addiction, the wait has been tough on program development and has greatly hindered our ability to hire and retain staff. Our skeleton teams of clinicians and support staff have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID pandemic as well as through the ever-heartbreaking opioid epidemic. They’ve worked long hours with bare minimum staffing and demonstrated strong dedication while wearing their hearts on their sleeves. I am deeply humbled and have great admiration for each person employed by this non-profit organization.

Equally importantly to note is that this increase will enable the organization to strengthen the quality of care we provide and will increase access for individuals experiencing substance-use disorder, not only here at Wellspring, but also statewide. Thank you to Gov. Janet Mills, Director of Opioid Response Gordon Smith, Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, MaineCare Director Michelle Probert and Office of Behavioral Health Director Jessica Pollard for their tireless efforts to address this long-standing issue.

Suzanne Farley

Executive Director



Enough blame to go around

The recent article in the Bangor Daily News on Sept. 7 “Swamped morgues belie US illusion of a defanged pandemic” wasted little ink before directly and indirectly blaming Republican policies across the board for the recent COVID Delta surge.

It is worth remembering that on June 2, President Joe Biden kicked off the summer’s festivities and a return to “normal.” Declaring a “Summer of Freedom,” he promised “… a summer of get-togethers and celebrations. An all-American summer that this country deserves after a long, long dark winter that we’ve all endured.” Accordingly, and with his apparent blessing, almost all COVID restrictions were dropped. People freely travelled, gathered and partied. The result speaks for itself.

There seems to be a fair amount of blame to be shared.

Larry Balchen


Response to Reynolds

I found V. Paul Reynolds’  letter in the BDN on Sept. 4 astoundingly hypocritical. He ranted about how irresponsible President Joe Biden was in pulling our troops out of Afghanistan and how he abandoned our allies, and that he should resign.

To start with, I think any ideas that this could have gone much smoother are purely speculation at this point because there is no real way of knowing. I would like to ask Reynolds where all this indignation was when former President Donald Trump abandoned our Kurdish allies, who were staunch allies and fearless fighters. I don’t think they would have folded like a cheap tent like the Afghan fighters did. He left the Kurds to be  slaughtered by the Turks.

Where was Reynolds’ rage for Trump and his Republican allies, as they urged the supporters of the “Big Lie” that Trump won the election, to march to the White House and “fight like hell”? They incited these people to attack our capitol to try to overturn the results of a free and fair election. People died and many were  injured because of this act, which I believe was treasonous.

Where is his indignation for all the states run by Republicans that are busy passing voter suppression legislation? Where is his indignation towards a conservative Supreme Court that, just this week, proved to me they have no use for the Constitution when they let a radical Texas abortion law stay in place?

I, for one, am glad that someone finally was man enough to face the political fallout and get us out of that endless war.

Mike Avery Sr.