November 11, 2012

Letters to the editor
Veterans fight for all of us

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Spc. San Pao, who served in Iraq with the Maine Army National Guard in 2004, waves from a humvee to spectators during the 2006 Veterans Day parade in Portland. “All those men and women who will serve on the tip of the spear ... We owe them everything,” a reader says.

2006 File Photo/Gregory Rec

When I was a boat inspector in Nobleboro, I asked boat launchers if they would please show me their fishing gear. After I explained the purpose of my request, everybody I encountered cooperated.

Of course, another problem is that many anglers don't use boats. All anglers and boaters need to be aware of what a little piece of "trash" or a leaf fragment can do to a pond or lake.

A little milfoil is like being a little pregnant. Post and spread the word, not variable leaf milfoil!

Jack Boak


Maine care reform bill paved way for insurers' intrusions

As in the Oct. 7 letter to the editor by Wendy Vaughan, R.N., my partner was forced to complete an invasive, humiliating battery of tests by her employer to renew her health care insurance ("Insurer's mandate could put her family on slippery slope").

As part of Maine Med's "Work On Wellness" initiative for health care, my partner and other employees were required to produce a urine sample for tobacco use, blood samples for cholesterol, glucose and body fat levels and blood pressure, as well as taking an invasive online personal questionnaire.

To renew coverage, employees also were required to answer questions about recent sexual activity, food preferences, waist measurement, leisure activities, extensive family medical history, diagnosed conditions, etc.

Like Nurse Vaughan, my partner was surprised that such testing and abuse of civil rights was legal. Nurse Vaughan was wrong to assume that this invasiveness was a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The so-called Maine health care reform bill passed last year permits insurance companies to increase rates an average of 10 percent without seeking permission from the state's Bureau of Insurance.

In effect, this permits insurers to identify employees with higher risk factors such as age, smoking, high cholesterol, etc. and charge them as much as 20 percent more (remember, 10 percent average). This can now be accomplished without any oversight from the Bureau of Insurance.

The irony here, is the same legislators and governor who cried foul over the Affordable Care Act find nothing wrong with forcing employees across the state to produce urine and blood samples and submit to degrading questions about their sexual activity, so insurance companies can cash in on PL 90, the recently passed state health care "reform" bill.

We can do better in Maine. Write the Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or call them at 624-8475, and urge your legislators to support their constituents' health care insurance and civil rights.

Steven Kelley


Despite their hatred of West, militants embrace tech tools

There is a glaring irony in the article "Militants claimed consulate attack" (Oct. 25). The article states: "... the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility (for the Benghazi attack) on Facebook and Twitter."

I thought Islamic fundamentalism shunned Western values and modernity. Is somebody confused?

Robert Green


Army personnel helped battle great fires of 1947 

In 1947, my dad, Col. George W. Palmer, was enjoying his first assignment as commanding officer of the Harbor Defenses of Portland at Fort Williams, having returned after serving three years in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

I, age 13 that year, vividly remember his concern for those affected by "the great fires." He ordered "his troops" to join in the fight to control and help put an end to the frightening destruction.

I remember, even as far away as Cape Elizabeth, Fort Williams was shrouded by smoke, an eerie reminder of the devastation to our south.

I feel it is an important addendum to your coverage to give credit to the Army personnel stationed at Fort Williams who tirelessly worked alongside other volunteers and played an important role in helping to control and eradicate further threat to our great state of Maine ("The week that Maine burned," Oct. 7).

Hope Palmer Bramhall



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