Defend Mainers’ health care

Congress will soon decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of Americans get health coverage over the last six years.

I am fortunate enough to have been on my parent’s excellent employer-supplied health insurance my whole life. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, insurance companies may be able to deny me coverage in the future because I have a pre-existing condition.

Republicans has been pushing for repeal, which would deny me and thousands of other Mainers the care we need and deserve. I urge Sen. Susan Collins to stand with her constituents and defend their well-being.

Cassandra Dechaine


Democracy doesn’t work without compromise

Just look at this last election: Did it solve anything in our seriously divided country? Of course it didn’t. It probably just made our divisions even more obvious. The crux of our national disquietude these days is the profound difference between power and authority. For sure the Republicans have the power button in their grasp now. But if you understand statistics, as represented by recent national polling results and as was manifest by the Women’s Marches, the authority button still is in the grip of independent, social Democrats.

I think our only hope for making this country work again is to resurrect the concept of compromise, which was redefined and demonized by the tea party crowd after Barack Obama was elected, but which had served our country quite well for nearly 200 years.

Quite simply, democracy without compromise just won’t work. Take a look around. We must restore the true meaning of governmental compromise, and re-enshrine it in our national deliberations. Compromise is a settlement of differences by mutual concessions, an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles by reciprocal modification of demands.

If we fail in the mission to reinvigorate the realities of compromise into our government, fellow Mainers, we may well be kissing our way of life goodbye.

J. Brian Smith


Trump a champion for life

How God has blessed us! This is the most pro-life presidency ever. President Donald Trump put the Mexico City Policy, which denies federal aid to groups that perform or promote abortion overseas, back in effect after President Barack Obama reversed it eight years ago only hours after taking office.

Trump also supports making the Hyde Amendment, which prevents our taxes being used for abortion in America, permanent. Our vice president, Mike Pence, spoke at the March for Life march in Washington on Friday. Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to the president, also spoke at the march.

Catholics and Bible-believing Protestants are very happy with this presidency. It looks like Trump is going to do everything he said he would. His first week was great.

Thomas Coleman Sr.


Trump nominees

Thanks to Sen. Angus King for saying he will vote against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency because of his “good conscience.” I appreciate his willingness to do the right thing on the matter of the all important environment.

But I really wish he would use that good conscience to vote against the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general, too. He may be a nice guy to work with, but Sessions’ record and the optics surrounding his nomination speak volumes about Sen. Susan Collins and this “law and order” president.

We Maine constituents are all watching these votes very closely.

Terry Dubois


Tell Trump to release his tax returns

A top aide for Donald Trump insists that since people voted for him, no one cares if he releases his tax returns.

He won. He is president of the United States. But he promised that he’d end corruption in government, and that he would be a straight-talker. Don’t his supporters want him to make good on that promise? Let’s ask him to be the president the people voted for and the president he promised voters he would be. We should know where the president’s money comes from?

His refusal to release his tax returns raises questions about what is he hiding from us. Maybe he’s not as rich as he pretends to be or maybe he avoids paying much in taxes. That would be interesting to know, but it’s not essential. What really matters is what companies, world leaders and countries he has financial dealings with.

More than 400,000 citizens have signed a White House petition asking him to release his tax returns. He hasn’t complied.

Does he think that only “losers” signed that petition? Trump voters should let tell him to release his tax returns and that the people care.

Robin Wood


Oppose Trump’s travel ban

Immigrants from all over the world have helped make America a great nation. It is a vital part of our story as a nation — “Give us your tired, your poor, those huddled masses yearning to be free.” Anyone with a basic understanding of American history knows this to be true.

America is great because we have more opportunities to succeed economically and because we are generally more free to live our lives as we choose than people in other nations. Many Americans agree that discrimination based on race, religion, nationality and gender is wrong.

Walls, closed borders and discriminatory immigration policies will not make America greater and will not make us safer. Banning all people from specific Muslim-majority countries, which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, will not make America greater and will not make us safer.

Having legal procedures for different types of immigration makes sense. Those laws can and should be improved. The new administration claims to want to protect America by their recent decision to ban all people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Any ban of a specific group of people because of their race, religion or nationality is wrong. Americans who truly care about freedom and the foundational values that have made America the great country it is should oppose this ban.

Elizabeth Radliff