Monday, March 10, 2014
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!
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.
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?
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.
While an old history lesson might impress the easily impressed, judging by the recent electoral victories of the Democrats, the American electorate has made their choice as to which party represents the best interests of the working class of all races.
With those results so obvious, I'd hope Gallagher and his tolerant, Republican friends would accept four more years of President Obama with dignified resignation. Or maybe we should look at Charlie Webster's laughable conspiracy theories as shining examples of just how far the old "party of Lincoln" has fallen.
Old Orchard Beach
If wealthy want beaches, let them pay for the upkeep
Regarding your report about private beaches in Maine on Dec. 2: Most countries and every state whose beaches I've enjoyed make no distinction between high- and low-water marks. Public access to beaches is generally plentiful and expected. If the wealthy want to claim this, too, as their private privilege, I say let them pay the billions of federal and state dollars that go to beach replenishment, erosion control and hurricane clean-up!
Old Orchard Beach
Leaders should distinguish old beliefs from new logic
Mike Harmon's thesis that science can only reveal some of the truth about the universe and our place in it is undeniably true, there are murky areas of complex human interaction where the scientific method has yet to shed much light, but we humans have a dread of unanswered questions.
Human history has no lack of examples, like, flat-earthism, white-supremacy and belief in fairies, of how we manufacture myths and ideologies to bridge the gaps in our knowledge. Later, as science rolls back still more of our ignorance, the myths and entrenched ideologies die hard. Mr. Harmon cites the example of Francis Collins as a person of faith who runs the NIH very competently and I would add C. Everett Koop as Reagan's outstanding (Mormon) Surgeon General.
Why then, does Mr. Harmon see it as wrong for us to ask whether someone who wants to make decisions regarding our lives is able to distinguish, as the foregoing two gentlemen clearly have, between fondly held beliefs and logical arguments backed by verifiable facts?