April 30, 2013

Letters to the editor: Laws' effect on violence will be limited

(Continued from page 1)

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The general manager of a San Francisco gun shop holds an HK USP 9 mm handgun. Addressing "the proliferation and increased lethality of guns" available in the United States is key to containing gun violence, a reader says.

2012 File Photo/The Associated Press

Bob Barter


Amnesty bill would ensure needy in U.S. get even less

It is completely mind-boggling to me that a country with 20 million unemployed, 47 million on food stamps, 16 million children going to bed hungry and a middle class that's struggling and on the verge of total collapse would even consider another (No. 7) amnesty of 12 million to 30 million illegal immigrants.

Let me rephrase that: 12 million to 30 million-plus immigrants and their relatives.

We have been lied to and hustled since the 1986 amnesty, and this amnesty is no different. Has anyone considered how 12 million to 30 million mostly uneducated and low-wage earners who pay little or no income tax will affect our debt crisis and Obamacare?

Is it fair and compassionate to expect the elderly, disabled and poor in this country to share their "safety net" with 12 million to 30 million illegal immigrants?

The Gang of Eight's disastrous amnesty bill will be the final nail in the coffin for America's middle class.

Ann Roberts


MaineCare bill would help poor develop stable lives

An important bill, impacting the health and welfare of our citizens, is being debated in the State House.

L.D. 1066, a bill co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, would expand MaineCare as stipulated under the Affordable Care Act to include an additional 70,000 Mainers.

For the next three years, this expansion to MaineCare would be paid for exclusively with federal funds and would cost Maine taxpayers absolutely nothing. In fact, Rep. Linda F. Sanborn, D-Gorham, lead sponsor of L.D. 1066, citing a 2012 Kaiser study, estimates the expansion would save Mainers $690 million.

Insured patients would receive care in preventative health care settings rather than in more traumatic and expensive interventions administered in emergency rooms.

Maine has an annual income lower than the national average, and some of the highest health care delivery costs due to the high numbers of older and rural residents.

At 27 percent, Maine's percentage of citizens receiving Medicaid (MaineCare) is the third highest in the nation. As a state, we are in no position to turn down federal health care funds.

L.D. 1066 is not just about saving money, but about affecting the lives of real people.

As social work students, we have met many poor and homeless women who struggle with mental health issues and chronic medical conditions. Without health care, many of these women are unable to maintain their health and create enough stability in their lives to allow them to secure living-wage work and successfully move off of assistance.

Please urge your representatives to create sound policy and healthy citizens by supporting L.D. 1066.

Wendy Briggs


Kiersten Mulcahy


University of New England School of Social Work, Portland

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