Friday, April 18, 2014
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Sargent Corp. employees set up a sign in January to warn motorists of the closing of much of Baxter Boulevard for eight months for sewer improvement work. A reader suggests closing the road on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2013 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski
LePage budget looks for cuts from vulnerable seniors
The governor's budget calls for major cuts to the Medicare Savings Program and eliminates the Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program. By proposing these drastic measures, Maine is turning to its oldest and poorest citizens and demanding they come up with a way to fix Maine's budget woes by cutting back or eliminating their health care, their life-saving medications and, for many, their ability to stay in their own homes.
The Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program provides discounts on generic drugs for all enrollees and on brand-name drugs for people with certain serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. It also makes certain drugs more affordable for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
The Medicare Savings Program helps pay for Part B premiums for Medicare, which covers many important services, including doctor visits, preventive care, ambulance services, skilled nursing care and outpatient care and medically necessary supplies such as wheelchairs and walkers.
Is discontinuing these essential programs really the answer to our state's budget problems?
The Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program and the Medicare Savings Program must be maintained. Those affected by these budget cuts are our friends and neighbors. For many of them, cutting back on their health care and their prescription drugs could endanger their lives.
I am 90 years old, and I find this unacceptable. Older and at-risk Mainers need to know now that their benefits won't be taken away. I hope our legislators do the right thing and restore funding to the Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled and the Medicare Savings programs.
AARP Communications Volunteer
Thank you, Sen. Collins, for background check vote
We urge all Mainers who continue to support the federal background checks improvement bill to write a letter of thanks to Sen. Susan Collins for having had the fortitude and integrity to vote for it, in spite of threats brought to bear by the National Rifle Association leadership (who no longer represent the majority of their membership on this issue, by the way).
The Senate defeated the bill with only three Republican votes in favor, but it will be heard again.
Her vote will be remembered with appreciation when critics attempt to use it against her, and she deserves to hear of this support from each one of us, to help sustain her conviction.
For a start, we say: "Thank you, Sen. Collins."
Nancy and David Nyberg