August 15, 2013

Letters to the editor: LePage brushes off another ghastly gaffe

Picture this: A student at Portland High overhears a classmate telling a friend he'd "like to blow up the school."

click image to enlarge

Someone who said he’d like to blow up a building – as Gov. LePage said he wanted to do to the Press Herald last week – likely would have faced police questioning, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/John Ewing

The student does what he's been told: He tells his teacher. Then the teacher contacts the principal and school guard, who immediately haul the offender to an office and  lock the door.

The parents are called. So are the police. Mom and Dad show up and say that it was "clearly a joke."

End of story? I don't think so. Police never consider this a joke. They search the student's home and car for bombs. They interview his friends, and maybe bring charges.

The student is likely suspended; the parents probably end up hiring an attorney to get the student back in school. And don't forget the black mark he'll have on his college application.

This scenario would play out similarly if it happened in a courthouse or an airport -- or on any public property in this country.

Last week, our governor opened his enlarged mouth and made another of his disgusting comments ("LePage says he'd like to blow up Press Herald," Aug. 9).

He actually said he'd like to "blow up" the Portland Press Herald. His spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, once again came to his defense, saying he was clearly joking. End of story. No discipline for this joker.

Can anyone tell me why the good, smart, sensible and well-mannered people of Maine have not stopped this man in his tracks?

Paul LePage is not worthy of the title he holds. He doesn't govern. He bullies and insults good people and institutions statewide, often with a foul mouth. Dumbing down Maine is what he does best.

By the way, I'd like to suggest a new title for spokeswoman Bennett. It should be "Nanny-in-Chief." After all, she does what all nannies do. They clean up after their charges.

Leslie Weiss

Cumberland Foreside 

Time to speak out against Anthem's barriers to care 

I encourage any Portland Press Herald readers who might ever need a hospital to speak out against the changes Anthem is proposing that will eliminate any competition in Maine's health care system.

If these new plans are allowed, all Mainers, regardless of our insurance providers, will see a decrease in access to quality care and an increase in costs.

Maine Bureau of Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa wants to allow Anthem's individual and small-group policyholders to be locked out of all local hospitals except for Maine Med and its affiliates. It wouldn't cover care at Mercy or York Hospital or Parkview, to name just a few.

Capitalizing on the confusion around Obamacare, Anthem also wants to eliminate out-of-network providers for their policy holders in southern Maine. Anthem's desire to have a health care monopoly, not any requirements in the ACA, is the driver behind these changes.

Thankfully, Anthem is not my insurer, but these changes will affect the entire health care system in our state. Even with the ACA health care exchange, Anthem continues to be one of the biggest insurers and would exclude thousands of Mainers from facilities and providers. This jeopardizes everyone's access to quality care.

Health care is expensive enough without Anthem's artificial barriers to competition and availability. Say "no" to Anthem controlling Maine's hospitals, doctors and health care consumers.

People can contact the state insurance superintendent at insurance.pfr@maine.gov or speak up at:

Thursday, 5 p.m.: Talbot Lecture Hall/Luther Bonney Auditorium, the University of Southern Maine, Portland.

Friday, 5 p.m.: CFB Conference Room, Richard Dyke Center for Family Business, Husson University, Bangor.

Aug. 29, 5 p.m.: Kirk Hall, Central Maine Community College, Auburn.

Aug. 30, 5 p.m.: Campus Center Allagash Room, University of Maine at Presque Isle.

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