Support health bill

I want to believe in the new health care plan, so I did some homework, and it just makes so much sense to me now. The bill includes measures to end discrimination by insurance companies against sick people, and it will demand transparency for those companies. Where do those premiums go, anyway?

Not only will the bill bolster basic family coverage, but preventive coverage as well. Money or tax breaks will go to doctors providing Medicare services, students who study medicine, businesses researching treatment and prevention of chronic illnesses and rural hospitals, and to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.

This is what so many people have wanted for so long. If the bill passes, it would be the most sweeping reform in this country in decades.

Let’s put partisanship aside and call our senators to ask for their support for this bill.

Ina Hollins



Boost cleaner energy

The fossil fuel lobby has its army of lobbyists reminding our legislators of the influence it can sway. We need not only to place major investments in big wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy, but we also need to clean up or replace older boilers that do not adequately control their emissions.

Our dependence on oil is unnecessary with these technologies. It will take investment that will create jobs here at home.

Coal is a dirty fuel and there is really no clean way of using it.

Processes are available to reduce these emissions and are a must if coal is to continue to be used.

Timothy Bickford



On immigration laws

Advocates of amnesty for illegal immigrants often make their case by focusing on the plight of one illegal migrant, as in the OpEd, “Recalibrate immigration” (BDN, Dec. 28). Rigoberta Padilla, age 21, was brought to America illegally by his parents when he was 5. He wants to stay.

He’s mostly a good person. Do we owe him a path to citizenship? And what about the other 12 million?

Nations make laws to serve their national interest. Sometimes those laws are inconvenient for the individual. If my house is 5 feet over the New Hampshire line, then I can’t vote in Maine or attend UMaine on in-state tuition. Whenever there’s a limit, some people are on the wrong side.

America has the most generous legal immigration system in the world, but that doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to set a limit, and enforce that limit, on behalf of our people. With 15 million unemployed Americans, illegal immigrants have no right to those jobs.

Padilla and his parents are citizens of another country. They’re entitled to all the rights and benefits of citizenship in that country. We understand they would rather be Americans. So would hundreds of millions of people, who stayed home and respected our laws. Should we reward the opportunists who broke our laws?

Since l980, millions of illegal immigrants have taken their savings and returned home. Now it’s time for the rest to make their plans to return. No more amnesties.

Julie Tosswill



A deal for debtors

Mary Hunt (“Everyday Cheapskate,” BDN, Jan. 18) says that to prepare for runaway inflation, individuals should get out of debt. But it’s creditors who suffer during inflation.

The dollar they loaned was worth a dollar when they loaned it, but it gets repaid in dollars now only worth pennies, a nice deal for the debtor.

Hunt also suggests that to hedge against inflation we buy precious metals, stockpile food, and learn a skill we can barter for necessities.

Although she claims no intent to panic her readers, that’s the same kind of hysteria that Y2K generated and that surfaces regularly as a sign of dissatisfaction with our civilization.

Hunt is imagining the return of something like Colonial America, circa 1750 — a pre-modern society of sturdy, independent yeoman and artisans — to replace the complex and interdependent world we actually have to live in.

If she wants to argue the likelihood of her fantasy becoming true, the place would be on the OpEd page, not in a column of money-saver tips.

John Goldfine



Applauding Michaud

I am writing to commend Rep. Mike Michaud for standing strong in support of pre-born children by voting in favor of Rep. Bart Stupak’s pro-life amendment to the House health care bill. The Stupak amendment is designed to protect innocent lives by preventing the federal funding of abortion.

It is critical that the pending health care bill keep in place the long-standing federal policy that prevents most federal dollars from paying for elective abortions. That policy delivers what most Americans want —no tax dollars for abortions. The only way to accomplish this is to include Rep. Stupak’s language in the final version of the bill.

I would like to encourage Mr. Michaud to stay committed to the Stupak amendment, by voting against any version of the health care bill that does not include it.

Nancy C. Nichols

Presque Isle


Rethink nuclear

As usual, Dick Hill is spot on with his observations about our nation’s energy policy (or lack of) in his Jan. 19 BDN OpEd, “Why shouldn’t the U.S. take the lead in nuclear power?”

I firmly believe that if nuclear power generation hadn’t been unfairly vilified in the 1960s and 1970s, we very well may have had a solution by now to the most vexing of all the problems associated with nuclear power — waste disposal. Instead, all the bright young minds stayed away from the nuclear power industry to pursue careers in other industries.

Criticism of nuclear power has been no more than superstition and half-truths. The fact is that absolutely no one in the U.S. has ever been killed by nuclear power. Compare that to the coal generation industry which accounts for approximately half of U.S. power. That toll stands at well over 400 deaths for 1996 through 2009 alone.

It’s time for our politicians to grow some backbones and stand up to this vocal minority that is against nuclear power and begin the process of bringing these much need plants online. Our future and the future of our children and grandchildren depend on it.

Steve Crouse