We need to do four things to save Obamacare.

First – give it time to work. The massive undertaking of moving thousands of people onto a new program is bound to have problems. The deadline for signing up for coverage is the end of March 2014 – more than 100 days away. We have time to fix it.

Which leads me to the second thing – make it work. Instead of trying to score political points, Congress needs to figure out how to make it work. That includes adequate funding for Americans to be able to learn about the program and to understand all their options.

Third, we need a congressional investigation into the insurance companies that are misleading policyholders and trying to blackmail them into expensive plans that they offer. Hopefully, this would be led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Lastly, we need to end partisanship and work to implement a health care plan that a vast majority of Americans want and need. Can anyone tell me what the Republican plan is to fix Obamacare other than to kill it?

Ironically, Obamacare is the same plan put forward as an alternative to the Clinton health care proposal! It is time for all our elected leaders to work for the American people and ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.

Bruce Hodsdon

Port Clyde

Find way to charge drivers for all miles driven in state

Curtis Chapman gets it almost right in his letter to the editor “Another View: Imposing tolls not the way to fund highway repairs” (Oct. 16).

While he doesn’t say it, I assume he understands that a mileage-based system would replace the current per-gallon fuel tax.

That leaves a big gap in the revenue stream if verifying mileage can only be done at the time of the annual registration of the vehicle.

Disregarding the illegal practice of turning back the odometer, which is now done for better resale purposes, an even bigger and legal loophole would result.

All the tourist miles traveled in the Vacation State would not contribute to the upkeep of our roads.

Anyone who could possibly find a legal way to “live” in Maine but not register his vehicle here would do so.

Snowbirds would have another incentive to spend six months plus one day in another state. Truck fleets that operate interstate would certainly move all their vehicles out.

Excise taxes, which cities and towns collect at the time of vehicle registration, would tumble.

The only winners I can think of are the gas station owners near our borders with New Hampshire and Canada. They would be overwhelmed with fill-ups.

Road maintenance income based on miles driven and some size and efficiency adjustment is certainly the way to go, but we have to find a way to charge drivers for only but all miles driven within the state.

Roger Rotvig


Planned Parenthood users have right to privacy, care

Re: “Another View: Protest buffer zone makes civil protest harder” (Oct. 15): No protester is “obliged to yell to be heard,” even when at the perimeter of a 39-foot “buffer zone.”

It is a matter of personal choice whether any message is delivered at a loud or a conversational level.

David Melley pleads for an unborn child’s voice, neglecting to take into account the fact that most patients at Planned Parenthood are seeking medical services other than abortion.

They may be seeking self-preservation through early diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer or sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

They have a right to privacy and safe access to health care as they follow their own “long-acknowledged human instinct for self-preservation.” If they were to cry out, they, too, “would cry out for life.”

Julia G. Kahrl


Politics would sadden Lincoln on anniversary

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Millions of school children across America have memorized those words. I still remember when I first did in Mrs. Johnson’s sixth-grade class in the Cape Elizabeth elementary school. It is a profoundly moving speech. I still choke up when I recall it.

The middle lines are a bit muddled in my memory, but who can forget how Lincoln ended that speech:

We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.

The anniversary of Lincoln’s address later this week has me thinking about what Lincoln would make of the political situation in America today.

He surely would be sad that government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has come to such a clash of ideology, special interests, and big money.

Lincoln had seen the destruction that narrow ideology can bring. In his time the issue was slavery. Today the issue is the size and role of government.

Democracy depends on a shared common interest. Lately one wonders if America is losing that shared sense of self that has been a big part of making us a great nation.

On the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, it seems that “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” has become dangerously fractured.

Who or what will provide the wake-up call?

Ron Bancroft


Our great nation leads list of things he’s thankful for

My, my, where has this year gone? Seems like just yesterday I put my snow shovel away and it’s time to dig out the leaf rake, and caulk a couple of windows before Old Man Winter comes to visit. But before he arrives we will celebrate Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful to live in America, the Greatest Nation Ever. What makes America so great?

No other nation down through all of history has accomplished what America has.

We are the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free all because a handful of brave men decided enough was enough and they’d had too much, (Sgt. Bilco use to say that didn’t he?), and stood up to the most powerful nation and army in the world and chose liberty over tyranny.

The rest is, as they say, history.

America has led the world in all fields of advancement from poking seed holes with a stick and traveling by wind-powered ships to cultivating vast acreage to feed the world’s hungry and traveling by rocket-powered ships.

We have led the world in exporting good will, money and necessities to all nations, even our enemies, in the shadow of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, famines, wars and economic catastrophes.

America has built a middle class so envied the world over that during the days of the Iron Curtain people risked everything including life itself to escape and immigrate to America the Land of Opportunity and every day people from around the globe still seek out opportunity in the Greatest Nation Ever.

Have you considered lately what you are thankful for?

Dave Ricker