Disappointed in Poliquin

I am very disappointed that Rep. Bruce Poliquin chose to ignore the needs of Mainers and bow to the Republican pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act at all cost. As a rehabilitation physician who cares for the disabled, I am very discouraged that the Republican plan will allow states to opt out of requiring insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions.

I can’t believe that our “fiscally conservative” congressman would vote to repeal the ACA stating it is too expensive and then vote for a replacement when we have no idea how much it would cost.

The ACA in its original form encouraged all Mainers to participate in a plan with the needy receiving subsidies. The Republican plan will likely keep the neediest of Mainers out off insurance pools to keep the costs down. This is offset by setting aside $8 billion to pay for ” high risk insurance pools.” Where does that money come from? Our taxes.

Once again we will have more Mainers without insurance, placing the burden of providing free care on providers and hospitals. I want a congressman who stands up to the establishment to protect the health care needs of Mainers.

Peter Arabadjis, MD

Orono

Town landing exclusion

The Glenburn Recreation Committee has submitted an amendment to the town council for consideration that could allow non-residents access once again to Glenburn’s Lakeside Landing boat launch and picnic area. There’s a catch, however. If approved, out-of-town residents will need to purchase a yearly $30 parking permit.

I hope town residents will support this amendment at the upcoming public hearing, scheduled for May 18. While not exactly the solution I would have wished for, this change at least offers a parking option for our out-of-town neighbors to use the landing. Residents and taxpayers will continue to pay $2 for a sticker. There’s still a $50 fine for anyone caught without one. The town office is open Tuesday through Friday, so plan your spontaneous outings accordingly.

Laurie Walton

Glenburn

Rich win with health care bill

What great pictures on the front page of the May 5 BDN under the headline “ House passes American Health Care Act.” Look closely. A bunch of smirking, half-grinning angry white men flanked by their usual one token angry white woman. Not a black or Hispanic face among them.

The happy face picture of Rep. Bruce Poliquin next to it is classic. Or should I say classless. These men were smug in their knowledge that they just screwed tens of millions of hard-working Americans, elderly Americans, and others too numerous to mention, out of their access to affordable health care. And they did it before the Congressional Budget Office had a chance to evaluate the bill’s impact.

Remember, too, that the only reason this bill passed is because it is even worse than the bill that failed to pass a few weeks ago. It is also more likely than not that each of the faces in the pictures was elected in part by scores of millions of dollars of hidden, untraceable dark money provided by the super super rich. Sadly,they all suffer from an apparently incurable disease called affluenza.

Paul A. Cyr

Madawaska

Don’t subvert will of Maine people

What’s going on in a democracy where the legitimate will of the people is not respected?

If it wasn’t so abhorrent, I would enjoy the irony of watching Maine’s elected governor and legislators trying to overturn publically approved referendum questions.

Maine’s governor has made clear his active scorn of public referendums. He didn’t like any of the ballot questions approved in November; specifically, a minimum wage hike, marijuana legalization, and a plan to better fund public education.

That last one, Question 2, called for a small surtax on the incomes of Maine’s richest residents, specifically those with incomes of more than $200,000. Under the plan, they will pay an extra 3 percent surtax on only that part of their income that exceeds $200,000. The money will let the state finally keep its unmet promise to fund 55 percent of the cost of educating our children.

The Legislature has the legal right to reject that referendum vote. But does it have the moral right?

Gov. Paul LePage contends the surcharge is bad for the economy; that it will drive out business. I challenge him to bring forth at least five CEOs in Maine who are so personally greedy that they would relocate their business to another state rather than personally contribute a little more of their wealth to help public education.

I ask LePage and state legislators to uphold our vote on Question 2 and the other referendum questions. They should reject their bundle of dishonorable and morally questionable plans to subvert democracy.

Cathy Wolff

Kittery

Trump doesn’t know history

Donald Trump has been accused of many things, but no one yet has ever accused him having any knowledge or interest in our nation’s history. He revealed some of his limitations not long ago when he suggested that the 19th Century abolitionist and agitator Frederick Douglass was still among us.

More recently, he has suggested that Andrew Jackson – obviously his favorite president, next to himself – might have been able to negotiate a settlement that would have avoided the Civil War. He did not reveal how Old Hickory, the impulsive, hot-tempered, dueling, Indian-removing slaveholder might have pulled it off.

“Why could that one not have been worked out?” Trump asked. It’s a fair question. Folks far wiser, more sensitive, and more thoughtful than Trump have been pondering it for many years. For an answer, he might have consulted the first Republican president. This is what Abraham Lincoln told the nation in 1865, in his second inaugural address:

“One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.”

In short, that’s why the Civil War “couldn’t be worked out.”

Lynn Parsons

Castine