Give Kavanaugh a fair shake

I want to applaud Sen. Susan Collins for her recent comments regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

I agree with her that it is important to fully assess a judicial candidate through a careful review of his or her record and, most importantly, through the candidate’s Senate hearings. Conversely, it would be entirely inappropriate, as some constituents have urged her to do, to reject out of hand Kavanaugh’s worthiness before he has had a chance to even appear before the Senate.

Similarly, as one who thinks this candidate would be a fine choice for the Supreme Court, I would not ask for a “rubber-stamp” of his appointment. Although I think the testimony of Kavanaugh’s colleagues and former clerks such as Jennifer Mascott — whose statement regarding his treatment and mentoring of a clerk staff that was more than 50 percent female — offsets those who cite concerns regarding Roe v. Wade and other issues, I think that Collins should not make her decision until the facts are reviewed and the hearing is completed.

Finally, I want to respond to those constituents who have pointed out that she was elected to serve them and that she should respect their choice to reject Kavanaugh out of hand. Collins was, indeed, elected to serve all of us. She ran as a Republican with strong conservative values, and I voted for her based upon that candidacy. All I ask is that she do her due diligence in this very important task.

Ralph “Doc” Wallace


Stand up for SNAP

Access to food and good nutrition is a basic human right that governments and societies around the world have too often failed to uphold. And, unfortunately, Maine is no exception. Since 2014, tens of thousands of Mainers have lost access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) after harsh, unnecessary new work requirements were mandated. The results have been more children going to bed hungry, food pantries are being exhausted of resources, and low-income Mainers are now more vulnerable to unemployment and hardship.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Gov. Paul LePage have had no qualms with bad mouthing SNAP for years and working to dismantle its benefits. We, as Mainers, need to expect more from our leaders in Washington, D.C., and Augusta. I ask that LePage and Poliquin reconsider their actions and stances on SNAP. We will reduce hunger in Maine by enriching, not draining, these public benefits programs and by fighting the stigma attached to our most vulnerable residents, not vilifying them further.

Come this November, vote for candidates who will fight for actual economic justice and uphold our public benefits programs. That would Janet Mills for everyone in Maine, and Jared Golden for my fellow residents of the 2nd Congressional District.

Chris Hassan


Work requirement threatens Medicaid access

A recent court decision struck down federally approved Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky. This was welcome news for the poorest Kentuckians who can continue receiving care through the system. It’s also a rare win for health care consumers across the country, as health care, especially for the most vulnerable Americans, continues to be under threat.

Medicaid work requirements go against the core value of the Medicaid program: to provide health care access to low-income individuals. By placing employment reporting requirements on enrollees who data shows already work, work requirements are an obstacle designed to slash enrollment in the program.

As consumer health advocates, Consumers for Quality Care hopes this court decision sets a precedent for other work requirement waivers still pending before the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, including Maine. We encourage the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services and Maine to keep Mainers at the center of health reform decisions, ensuring those with little don’t lose it all.

Donna Christensen, M.D.

Board member

Consumers for Quality Care

Washington, D.C.