I’ve watched the medical bill proceedings closely while vacationing in Florida. My question is, where have our two senators been during this debate and recent vote?

It seems that they bowed to Republican pressure and forgot about the Maine voters that they represent while in Washington.

I say it’s time to send a message to them. When they’re up for re-election, vote them out. Since they’ve abandoned us Mainers, let’s get somebody else in there who won’t.

Armand Bouchard

Harpswell

 

 

Before her vote to pass national health care reform, Rep. Chellie Pingree stood before the U.S. House and told sad stories about Mainers who lack adequate health coverage.

How can this be? Maine has already implemented most of the reforms in the new package President Obama signed into law. Indeed, Pingree was one of the state legislators back in the ’90s who brought Maine the Holy Grail of health insurance reforms: Insurers have to cover you even if you have pre-existing conditions, and they can’t charge you more because of your health conditions.

Pingree’s reforms destroyed the individual health insurance market in Maine, but Gov. Baldacci claims to have fixed that with the Dirigo program. If these reforms work as intended, then why are Mainers’ medical costs and health care premiums now higher than ever?

Is it because Maine’s reforms didn’t force people to buy insurance, as the new federal law will? Massachusetts added such a mandate on top of Maine-style reforms. Is it working? The vast majority of the newly insured in the Commonwealth are getting state subsidies, pushing the state budget into crisis.

Health insurance costs and premiums are still rising, there are long wait times to see specialists, and hospitals outside of the cities are going bankrupt due to inadequate reimbursements.

The effects of reform are the opposite of what’s been promised. Have we been sold a bill of goods by the Democratic Party instead of health care reform that will actually help the American people?

Jane Gildart

Yarmouth

 

 

The health care reform process over the past year showed me many aspects of government and the people we elected to represent us.

I was shocked that many choose to try to disrupt rather than participate in the process, and I was particularly disappointed with those who said “no” simply because the president and the Democrats said “yes.”

Does anyone honestly believe that every one of the representatives who voted against health care reform reflected the will of the people who elected them? Talk about a blatant case of pressuring and arm-twisting. I at least respect the Democrats who opposed the bill and voted their conscience. Yet, not one Republican saw any good for Americans in this bill!

In my opinion, Republican House leader Rep. John Boehner and the elected officials who voted no are the ones who need to listen to the American people, not just the people said to have yelled racial slurs and homophobic comments or spit on elected representatives of Congress.

For a start, Mr. Boehner and the Republican Party should listen to the estimated 22 million citizens who will gain health care coverage due to this legislation.

Once again, our great country has shown us that the people and our elected officials can rise above the lies and fear tactics of the extremists and do what is morally right and not just what is politically correct to gain their own re-election. God bless America and those who defend her from her enemies.

Ted Metzler

Yarmouth

 

 

Baldacci did well by canceling new park fees

 

Congratulations to Gov. Baldacci for his decision to reverse park fees at Mackworth Island in Falmouth and Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth.

The state needs to deal with budget shortfalls; however, reaching into people’s pockets on the assumption that we all wear cargo pants is wrong. Gov. Percival Baxter did not leave Mackworth Island to the state to be used as a source of revenue.

When we accept a benefactor’s gift, we must honor that gift. Gov. Baxter left the island to the people of the state. The state demonstrates avoidance of tackling budget shortfalls when it continues to seek ways to generate more money from its people who are working hard to trim their personal budgets to make ends meet.

Maine has a wonderful quality of life, so let’s keep it that way. Thank you, Gov. Baldacci.

Anne Theriault

Falmouth

 

It’s bad form to bad-mouth how president throws pitches

 

In regards to Dennis Gervais’ April 13 letter: Who cares if the president pitches like a girl (and by saying that, he degrades his own daughter)?

Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America! If his athletic ability is the true test of his worth, maybe Mr. Gervais would like to set up a one-on-one basketball match with the president and himself (or his daughter/mother/wife/sister).

Better yet, let’s stop acting like kids and stand together behind our president. “Divided we fall,” remember?

Amanda Kruger

Sanford


 

Middle America has no monopoly on discontent

 

Kathleen Parker’s April 6 column regarding the political climate of middle America, “Obamacare not going over well in Cantyville, where it needs to,” is touching but I think she misses the point.

While reinforcing a cultural divide by contrasting urban areas and the coasts against the middle of the country, she expresses the notion that Cantyvilleians do not think President Obama knows what he is doing.

I assume these folks do not have any idea what the Republicans are doing, either. Simply contrast John McCain’s recent post-reform oath of no cooperation with the initiation of health care reform, pending financial regulation, continuing economic initiatives, meaningful arms reduction and a commitment to finishing the job in Afghanistan. We need to hear more from Ms. Parker than this folksy general disenchantment of rural America. They have no patent on feeling disenfranchised.

Plenty of coastal urbanites are having a difficult and confusing time as well, but for us, acting now to solve problems is better than saying we’ll take our toys and go home till the next election.

Joe Delaney

Portland