December 8, 2012

Letters to the editor: MaineCare leadership incompetent

So, a $100 million shortfall has been discovered at the Department of Health and Human Services. And again, blame has been laid at the feet of MaineCare. Baloney!

click image to enlarge

Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, speaks during her confirmation hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services committee. A reader blames MaineCare problems on poor leadership.

2011 Kennebec Journal file photo/Joe Phelan

By my reckoning, the upper levels of DHHS and the LePage administration are populated by people who are both managerially incompetent and simultaneously quivering with an incomprehensible desire to destroy DHHS and the people it serves.

Another $100 million? Really? The new Democrat-controlled Legislature should immediately initiate a no-holds-barred investigation of DHHS and its propensity for shortfalls that do irreparable harm to our most vulnerable citizens.

And while I lay much of the blame for this on the LePage administration and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, investigators need to extend their inquiries back into previous Democrat administrations as well. Mayhew and LePage may be incompetent, and they may have made the problem worse, but they didn't start it.

Just so you know, I am the parent of a child with severe autism, mental retardation and other serious health issues. Were it not for MaineCare, my son would be dead. Also, please understand I'm condemning elected politicians and top DHHS management, not the DHHS staffers who actually serve Maine's population. I have had many dealings with case workers over the years and have found them to be caring, compassionate and competent. Not once has there been an issue that we have not been able to resolve to our mutual satisfaction.

The rot is at the top. It needs to be rooted out and exposed, and wrongdoers held accountable. They have wreaked havoc with the public trust. My son cannot fight for himself, He relies entirely on his family and the community of us all. Please, help him and others like him. Expunge the rot.

Bob Whitmire

Round Pond

Do I have this right? Maine has just announced a $100 million shortfall in its MaineCare budget and Paul LePage has rejected an expansion of Obamacare in Maine that would bring nine federal dollars for every state dollar spent on Medicare?

Paul Mann


U.S. history of racism didn't end with Lincoln

Reading Jones Gallagher's take on history ("Democrats, not GOP, practice racism," Nov. 30) was entertaining to say the least but it left me with one big question:

Why did Mr. Gallagher abruptly end his "history" lesson 50 years ago? Why did he ignore that it was a Democrat, President Lyndon Johnson, who signed the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts while his Republican opponent modern day conservative icon Barry Goldwater opposed them adamantly.

Why did he ignore conservative Sen. Strom Thurmond who ran on a white supremacist, pro-segregation presidential ticket in 1948 and then became a Republican soon after for the rest of his long life.

Why did Mr Gallagher ignore widely known terms like "Dixiecrat" used to describe the southern, white supremacist wing of the Democratic party that included men like Thurmond and Jesse Helms. Nearly all of whom later became staunch Republicans.

Why gloss over Republican President Richard Nixon's cynical "Southern Strategy" where opposition to the Civil Rights Act was used as a wedge issue to permanently divide southern whites from the national Democratic party.

Gallagher seems to hope we ignore the simple reality of the last 50 years and give Charlie Webster a free pass when he says absurd, racially inflammatory things because a Republican freed the slaves 150 years ago.

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