Health care worries

I am not a pre-existing condition.

I am a hard-working, professional, self-sufficient woman who grew up in Maine. I have never gone a day without having health insurance. I’ve paid premiums to almost every health insurance company in Maine.

In 2013, days before my 46th birthday, I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer. Little did I know that this diagnosis would change me and my sense of self, and continue to threaten my quality of life.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could refuse to insure people with certain pre-existing conditions. Others would insure you at higher rates than people in the same demographic without pre-existing conditions.

ACA protection for those with pre-existing conditions is being threatened in the courts and may be overturned. This policy would not only apply to health plans purchased on the exchange, it may apply to employer-based insurance, too. It would impact those leaving a large employer to start their own business, those who are too sick to continue to work and must buy an individual policy, and possibly me.

All Americans deserve health care coverage with reasonable premiums, protections for pre-existing conditions, and health benefits with an adequate network of providers.

Cynthia Pernice


Speak up for clean air

We all deserve to breath clean air but many Maine residents just let President Donald Trump propose to weaken our clean air standards, and take no action. So few of us that want future generations to be healthy are not taking any action. I ask you to at least let your representatives know your opposition to dumping our clean car standards.

Ann Pedreschi


No need for name change

I have heard there has been talk about changing the name of Nokomis Regional High School when the new building is complete. Many people have their own view of why it should be changed. Some have a political agenda, and others would like to just see change. I personally feel it should be left alone. Nokomis has a good name and is well represented in the community.

For years now, the school district has been having a huge shortfall in their budget. As a result, they continually try to increase the school budget and most frequently are met with opposition. Why does it seem that no one is considering the additional cost to the budget for making a name change? Signs will have to be changed, uniforms changed, logos redeveloped and many other things all of which are going to add additional strain to an already weak school budget.

Noah Wiswall


Collins fooled again?

It would seem that Sen. Susan Collins believes that if Brett Kavanaugh tells her that Roe v. Wade is settled law then it means he wouldn’t vote to dismantle or repeal it. Isn’t this the same Collins who believed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ironclad promises regarding legislation for lower health care premiums in exchange for her vote to support their outrageously expensive tax reform bill? She kept her word, but they didn’t.

Is she still that naive that she will support confirmation of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court? Has she learned nothing from that previous experience? Furthermore, does she believe that President Donald Trump has a good track record regarding his other appointees? Many of them were given those positions not because they were qualified, but simply because they loved to feed his ego?

Collins is a smart lady who surely won’t be fooled twice, right?

Sylvia Tapley


One day

It was only one day during the tributes to John McCain but during that day Donald Trump was not our president, others were. It was only one day but it felt so good.

Frank Cassidy


End violence together

It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the barrage of violent words and actions from President Donald Trump, such as praising dictators who are adversaries of our American democracy and separating children from their parents at the southern border. Now the president is threatening that violence will follow the midterm elections if the Republicans lose. That kind of language creates fear, promotes tribal thinking and encourages more violence.

How can we possibly respond to such daily assaults on the fabric of our civil society? First, we can use the power of our vote to elect people who will stand up against such threats. And we must remember we are not alone in wanting to promote a non-violent approach to resolving our differences and preserving our democracy.

On Sept. 15, we can join together in West Market Square from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with others who are committed to “ End Violence Together.” We can learn about what they are doing to promote acts of courage and compassion in response to the hateful, fear-mongering coming out of the White House. Join the “choir” promoting non-violence and remembering Dr. Martin Luther King’s words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Linda Sisson


Health care for all

I wholly endorse Phil Caper’s recent call in an Aug. 26 BDN column for universal health care in Maine, and in our nation. The existing patchwork of for-profit insurance in America leaves far too many of our fellow human beings without adequate care throughout their lives. We should follow in the successful and much more highly civilized path that many countries take with an efficient, single-payer, government-administered system that truly serves its people. We know it can work — Medicare has only a small fraction of the administrative costs involved with the bewildering system imposed on us now.

It is time we changed for the better. We are rapidly reaching a tipping point where a majority of Americans realize that healthcare is not only for those who can afford it — it is a human right guaranteed and sustained by a civilized society. And we can only guarantee that right by taking the profit motive out of it. Please make sure that you vote for candidates who endorse Maine Allcare.

Diane Oltarzewski