We were extremely disappointed with a recent editorial on Bill Kayatta’s nomination to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

We both enthusiastically support Bill’s nomination. He is a truly exceptional judicial nominee, whose qualifications for this position are stellar and whose nomination is non-controversial.

The fact is, despite Judge Kermit Lipez’s announcement in April 2011 that he intended to retire, the Administration waited nine months to nominate Bill to fill the seat.

We agree it’s unfortunate that the nomination is now caught in election year politics. It should not be.

If the column’s author had bothered to contact our offices, which was not done, we would have gladly explained that we continue to speak with our Republican — and Democratic — colleagues in the Senate in a careful effort to gather the votes needed to confirm Bill to the federal bench this year.

We will continue these efforts, notwithstanding the hyper-partisanship that has engulfed the Senate on important legislation and judicial nominees.

We remain very hopeful that Bill’s nomination will be confirmed this year.

U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins

Maybe presidential policies really don’t affect gas prices

Amazing! Incredible! Despite President Obama’s anti-domestic oil production policies and his deceptive plot to force us into electric and hybrid vehicles, gas prices are dropping faster than Donald Trump’s credibility.

Is it possible that all those overeducated economists are correct — that presidential policies don’t really have much impact on the price of gas? Is it really a function of the world’s economic condition (i.e., the demand for oil) as well as investor speculation?

What do you think, Newt? A conspiracy, you say? Of course it is.

The Democrats have intentionally created poor economic conditions for the sole purpose of making folks feel better at the gas pump.

Of course, what’s been forgotten in that grand plan is how they intend to hold on to the presidency.

Not to worry. Mitt Romney will fix everything.

The economy will do a quick turnaround, unemployment will drop by 3 points, gas prices will go even lower and we won’t have to deal with that anti-American Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare” for my Republican friends).

The reality is that despite what all the Obama haters believe, Romney’s policies will have little impact on an economy controlled by market forces largely outside of our own borders.

One thing is certain, though. Under President Romney, the American middle class will continue to shrink.

Charles McNutt


Early health efforts for kids have long-term benefits

In their June 24 article Reps. Sharon Treat and Linda Sanborn gave voice to the hopes and concerns of many Mainers, including parents, seniors and people with chronic or emergency health care issues.

At the Maine Children’s Alliance, we believe that it is essential to continue to work diligently to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care and that we must focus on how to best deliver quality services here in Maine.

The evidence is clear that the best way to ensure a healthy future for children is to screen, diagnose and treat medical issues early.

Remedial education, clinical treatment and other professional interventions later in a child’s development are more costly and produce less desirable outcomes.

Early preventive efforts, a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act and our recent efforts in Maine, will have long-lasting benefits for individual children and families as well as our society as a whole.

Ned McCann


Build on the new health care to make it workable

Republican Rep. Wayne Parry’s recent Another View (“Maine had already moved forward in health insurance,” June 30) claims to correct misinformation about “Obamacare,” but he greatly misleads.

Parry states that insurance premiums will go up by 38 percent, according to the Maine Insurance Bureau.

This tidbit is cherry-picked from the May 31, 2011, bureau report prepared by Gorman Actuarial and Jonathan Gruber of MIT (one of the authors of Massachusetts’ “Romneycare”).

Parry ignores other conclusions:

Maine’s uninsured will decrease by 69,000 (60 percent) by 2019.

Maine household budgets will improve by $540 million or by $1,010 per household in 2019.

Fifty-four percent of the individual insurance market will be eligible for tax subsidies, with 43 percent of that market experiencing premium decreases.

Fifty-seven percent of that market will experience premium increases of 37 percent on average. However, the policies’ benefits will increase by more than 50 percent.

This report and the follow-up report of December 2011, analyzing Maine Public Law 90’s effects, are available on the Internet. Check for yourselves.

Parry states Anthem’s rate increase of only 1.7 percent proves Maine has already solved the health insurance problem, but it is “Obamacare” that limits overhead and profit companies can charge customers.

All excess premium money must be returned to policyholders.

As the Press Herald reported July 3, Cigna will be returning $2.6 million to its Maine customers because of this.

Lastly, Rep. Parry neglects to state that “Obamacare” requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.

No longer will chronically ill patients have to fear bankruptcy from health care bills, or be locked into a job for fear that a better job might not provide adequate health coverage for them or their family.

Let’s stop playing politics on health care, and build on the good in “Romney/Obamacare” to make a workable efficient system, instead of going backwards to the unfair, unhealthy and costly system we have had.

Laurent Hourcle


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