October 21, 2013

Letters to the editor: Tea party remains a flashpoint

Is it a group of ‘normal’ Americans or disruptive radicals?

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Tea party supporter Greg Cummings of Cincinnati watches a rally with the Democratic Progressive Caucus and furloughed federal employees against House Republicans on Capitol Hill on Oct. 4.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

After calling the 800 number and finding out that the system was down for maintenance, she expressed her outrage at the prospect of families not being able to feed their children because the system was being maintained.

She was quoted as saying, “You don’t want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity.”

Nobody wants children, or anyone else, for that matter, going hungry, but let’s put this in some kind of perspective.

Unless one is severely malnourished to begin with, most of us, including children, would not starve if we didn’t eat for 12 hours. We may not like it, but we’d survive.

The first letter in the “SNAP” acronym stands for “supplemental.” The dictionary definition of this word is an adjective meaning “added to something to make it complete.”

In this case, supplemental items are some of the more costly things like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, etc., that are to be mixed with the more affordable staples such as rice, beans, pasta, frozen and canned vegetables.

Even the dollar stores carry frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as pasta. With careful shopping, basic food staples can be bought very economically and in sufficient quantities to last for weeks.

SNAP benefits were never meant to be the sole source of food for families. There is a vast difference between truly being hungry and not having anything in the house that one feels like eating. Getting the most from SNAP requires discipline and planning.

Linda Converse


Maine should accept federal Medicaid funds

I’m writing to urge Maine citizens to encourage and indeed demand that their legislators and governor accept the federal expansion of Medicaid in Maine.

This would result in 70,000 of our fellow citizens having health insurance.

Over the next three years, this would bring $1 billion of federal money into Maine.

It will be a huge economic incentive for the state as well as help our fellow citizens.

During the first year of this program in 2014, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of this expansion and this will taper down to 90 percent of the cost by the third year. If we do not accept this money from the federal government, it will go to other states.

Hardworking Mainers who pay taxes will see their money returned not to their own state but instead used elsewhere.

No matter what your political affiliation or ideological view of the world, this makes no sense.

At a practical level, Maine citizens will be helped, the economy will be stimulated and our tax money will be returned to our own state. We need to accept this federal program.

Please write or email your legislator or our governor on this important issue.

Nancy A. Hasenfus, M.D.

president, Maine Chapter, American College of Physicians


Some final thoughts on the government shutdown

With regard to the recent government shutdown, as well as other self-inflicted predicaments, God has the answer, as always ...

“If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I look down from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14).

Martha Yerxa

South Portland

The democratic process has failed the people.

Philip Thompson


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