Join CVS and quit

The coalition Power of Prevention, a Healthy Maine Partnership, applauds CVS Caremark for its decision to stop the sale of tobacco products in its retail stores by Oct. 1. CVS sets a high bar for other industries and companies, showing courage and a commitment to prioritizing the health of its customers.

Americans lead the world in medical research and medical care. There is no doubt that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Tobacco is also the only legal substance that, when used as intended, kills 6.3 million people per year.

Scientists have found that conditions in which we live and work have an enormous impact on our health, long before we ever see a doctor. It’s time we expand the way we think about health to include how to create it and keep it, not just how to get it back. The Power of Prevention has a long history of working to protect Aroostook children, families and individuals from the dangers of tobacco and associated behaviors.

CVS’s decision underscores the critical role of practices and policies in moving health forward. Retail taxes, smoke-free spaces and decreasing access to retail tobacco products have all proven instrumental in reducing the number of tobacco users around the world. We challenge Aroostook retailers to join CVS and quit.

For more information, contact the Power of Prevention at 834-2003 or the Maine tobacco help line at 1-800-207-1230.

Julie Daigle
Community Outreach Coordinator
Power of Prevention, Healthy Maine Partnership
Fort Kent

Do the right thing

For a while in December, because of Gov. Paul LePage’s opposition to expanding Medicaid, I found myself in the position of being too poor for a health care subsidy but too rich for MaineCare. I found out that because of my age, I can start withdrawing money from my IRA in the middle of this year, so I am lucky enough to now qualify for a subsidy. But what about all the other people who don’t have that option?

What happens to the people who make less than $11,490 per year who don’t qualify for premium assistance and also don’t qualify for MaineCare? Most likely they stay uninsured.

LD 1578, An Act to Increase Health Security by Expanding Federally Funded Health Care for Maine People, is scheduled to be voted on in February. To make it veto-proof it needs a lot of support from everyone. My hope is that we make it work with bipartisan cooperation. Make it so, Maine. Put pressure on our legislators to do the right thing.

Martha St. Onge

Pro-life legislation

The Feb. 3 BDN headline stated, “Abortion rate at lowest point since 1973, study finds.” The abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women in a given year. Another measurement is the abortion ratio, which is the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion. The abortion ratio, as well as the rate, are dropping dramatically both nationally and here in Maine.

Here in Maine, abortions have declined for four straight years, with every indication that the trend will continue. The all-important abortion ratio is down from 15.6 percent in 2007 to 11.4 percent in 2011 (the most recent year with available statistics). This is a decline of more than 25 percent in four years. And the decline in abortions is especially strong among teens and young adults.

This impressive decline has taken place without any reduction in the availability of abortion and without any pro-life legislation passed by the Maine Legislature. Instead, more and more women are voluntarily rejecting abortion and are choosing life in ever-increasing numbers.

Rollin Stearns

Political spin

By their political spin, Democrats have created an apathetic public, many of whom have willingly sacrificed liberty for government dependence. A recent example of this was last week’s Congressional Budget Office report on the economic impacts of Obamacare. The Democratic Party spin was that “the loss of 2 million full-time equivalent jobs was beneficial to the U.S. economy.”

We’ve witnessed senior federal leftist bureaucrats like Lois Lerner, supposedly serving the general public in her career at the Internal Revenue Service, when, in fact, she was doing the bidding of the Democratic Party. About which, when asked, the President’s answer was that there was “ absolutely not” corruption at the IRS, even though more than 500 conservative and Christian groups say otherwise. We’re also to believe the Democratic Party leadership that the National Security Agency is trustworthy. These are examples of damned lies.

Meanwhile, in their reporting, a mostly leftist U.S. media, owned and operated by a group of wealthy bourgeois white liberal hypocrites, friends of Hollywood’s beautiful people, continue to patronize not only the president but the Democratic Party. It doesn’t really matter who on the left is talking, any time any one of them speak what comes immediately to mind is replacing the “T” with a “P” in the word “democrat” because that’s what we’re being told.

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

Dale Ferriere

Zoning amendment

I believe the three Camden Select Board members who decided that Camden voters aren’t smart enough to decide for themselves whether McLean can have a zoning amendment to open a residential recovery center at Fox Hill did so to serve their own interests. Period. Everyone I spoke to, on both sides, wanted to vote on this issue in the privacy of the voting booth.

I am presently considering opening a business in Camden, and I can’t believe this nonsense. Does anyone really believe their decision was made with the best interests of all Camden residents in mind? Think about it: $3-6 million a year added to the economy, 35 new four-season jobs with benefits, education and outreach, and conferences with more visitors in the off-season.

And they won’t let us vote on this? Who do they work for, really?

George Stevens