Dale McCormick, executive director of the Maine Housing Authority (until March 31), is not a Republican. She is not a member of Gov. LePage’s extended family. She is a “liberal Democrat” in a Republican administration.

Her tenure as a public servant was destined to end the moment Gov. LePage was elected. Her competency and stellar performance in office were completely irrelevant.

Under a “systematic attack” led by the ultra-conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, McCormick finally submitted to the inevitable and tendered her resignation.

How ironic that it was Poliquin who cast one of the first stones at McCormick. He has hardly begun to justify his own questionable business practices and conflict of interests as state treasurer.

Since Poliquin is so concerned with the “ethical conduct” of current administration officials, may we expect to hear of his resignation in the very near future?

Sam Kamin


Affordable Care Act isn’t health reform U.S. needs

Aaron Hoffman’s concern for his future patients is admirable (Maine Voices, “Nation and its citizens can’t afford to lose protection of Affordable Care Act,” March 22), but his advocacy of the Affordable Care Act is misguided. Mr. Hoffman knows the patient is ill, but he misdiagnoses the cause, and prescribes the wrong cure.

There are three fatal, reinforcing flaws in the ACA.

First, the legislation will exacerbate the largely unconstrained demand which is pushing up the costs of care and insurance. Second, it embeds more deeply the third-party payer system which shields consumers from much of the costs of their health care decisions. And third, it is filled with perverse incentives which deter consumers from seeking value and providers from creating it.

The coverage that would best meet the needs of most people while controlling costs is a generous health savings account for preventive and minor care combined with a catastrophic insurance policy for unexpected and costly illness.

This combination would give consumers more direct responsibility for their health care decisions, would eliminate much of the one-third of health spending that studies say is unneeded, and would sharply lower the cost of insurance.

The ACA insures more people, but does so at an exorbitant cost that will continually increase and that will eventually trigger the price controls and care restrictions which in varying degrees characterize every state-dominated system.

To achieve effective and sustainable health care reform, it is important to heed the physicians’ oath: First do no harm.

Martin Jones


U.S. should keep its troops out of others’ civil wars

This letter is not meant to degrade, discourage or cast stones on our men and women fighting in Afghanistan, but to simply discuss the underlying facts.

Forget Iraq. Our men and women served and died in that war and now we are able to boast about our $700 million embassy with 1,000 state workers.

However, if you read the papers and watch TV, you can see Iraq unraveling right before our very eyes.

Anyone remember Vietnam, the Tet Offensive and later, as our men and women came home in a hurry, what happened? First, any American sympathizers were left out to be killed by the invading North Vietnamese Army. And a new communist rule was established.

But look, now Vietnam has a thriving economy and is peaceful.

Of course, the above doesn’t always work out that way and Vietnam wasn’t made up of warring tribes like Iraq and Afghanistan — theirs was a civil war and so was Korea.

But by interfering in that civil war, we still have a divided Korea and are still worrying about the north’s ability to again invade, circa 1950.

I have many friends who served in Vietnam and the argument still goes on — did we lose there or win?

My view is that after all that carnage, which we could still have unleashed on the north, it was the right decision to use all our political influence and let that civil war run its course to conclusion.

Afghanistan is and always will be in a state of civil war. So based on our latest nation building there, I believe we should pull out gradually, not like Vietnam, and let the dust settle. And in the future we should forget invading other countries and bring our men and women home to protect our own shores.

Frank Slason


Robotics team earns place at national championships

It is easy to read the newspaper and find examples of strife and conflict. Not as easy to find examples of cooperation, teamwork and shared success. This is a good-news letter about the South Portland FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team, the Riot Crew.

This high school team has been building a robot and competing each year, as members build science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities, including self-confidence, communication and leadership.

At this year’s regional competition in Manchester, N.H., the team placed first and qualified to compete in the national championships in St. Louis in late April. The entire team will be able to extend their robotics season to attend the championships!

During the opening remarks at the Granite State Regional, the keynote speaker explained the value of a FIRST team.

In athletics, if even one member of the team turns pro, the whole team feels proud and considers this to be a success. In FIRST Robotics, EVERY team member is expected to turn pro. The country truly needs science and technology leaders that understand the concept of gracious professionalism.

The South Portland team members are now hard at work raising the $30,000 needed to send every team member and mentor to St. Louis. Please keep track of our progress on www.riotcrew.org. If you would like to contribute to the team, information is available there.

Theresa Libby

South Portland