Letters from the voters – Letter to the editor: Single-payer health plan in Maine would benefit everyone

Steve Mistler’s Sept. 17 article “Number of Mainers without health insurance rose 9 percent in 2013″ notes Maine is one of two states with “a rise in the number of people without health insurance from 2012 to 2013.” Thus, Maine’s uninsured comprise “147,000, or 11.2 percent of the state’s population.” Mistler reports tactical comments from gubernatorial candidates. No one mentions covering every Maine person with a fair...

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Letters from the voters – Health dollars wasted

A recent study of the hospital costs in eight different nations published in the September issue of Health Affairs has determined that hospital costs in the U.S. in 2011 were much greater than those in all of the nations studied. Lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, a professor at the CUNY/Hunter College School of Public Health and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, stated, “We are squandering $150...

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Why we need universal health care in Maine

July 30, 2014 As we celebrate the 49th anniversary of MEDICARE – over 49 million Americans are Medicare beneficiaries (2012), including 276,467 here in Maine – let us redouble our efforts in words and deeds in educating our fellow Mainers about the crying need for and common sense benefits of universal access to health care by everyone in our state. Here are two brief 3-minute videos worth seeing. We...

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Letters from the voters – Letter to the editor: Medicare for all simplifies health care

In his June 22 articles (“When college athletes get hurt, whose wallets should feel the pain?” and “USM ‘doing responsible things’ for athletes”“), Mark Emmert explores the questions “Who pays?” and “Is it fair?” for injured University of Maine athletes. He interviews UMaine officials, caregivers, injured athletes and outside experts. Any uninsured student entering UMaine must pay $3,000 for health care coverage, in addition to tuition. For...

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Letters from the voters – Big Money vs. Your Meds

For those of you who might not think big money in politics is hurting us, consider this: Since 2007 the prescription drug industry has spent nearly $1 billion lobbying Congress and federal agencies; in addition, the industry has spent nearly $64 million contributing to political campaigns (Center for Responsive Politics). In the Affordable Health Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) of 2010, Congress refused to include any cost controls...

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Letters from the voters – Cost of drug plans overlooked by critics of Medicare

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan wants to privatize Medicare. He should look instead to drug scams inherent in Medicare Part D. When it was set up, the government specifically prohibited negotiation of drug costs with drug companies. Why? I take the prescription drug Nexium for severe gastric reflux. In 2007, when I first obtained Part D coverage, my cost for a month’s supply was $28. The plan paid...

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Letters from the voters – Do the right thing

Using the example of the Affordable Care Act, Kevin Twine’s column (”Making Sausage,” June 16), provides a good analysis of the complexity involved in shaping legislation. He looks at the variables of division of power, popular support, citizen initiatives and the influence of big money. There is an impor- tant message in the Churchill quote he cites about Americans taking a “long time” to do the “right...

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“Stroke Recovery from a Family Perspective”

Originally presented at the 7th Annual Stroke Conference in Portland, Maine on May 21, 2014 I want to talk about your patients, the people in the shadows, out of the light, on the verge of darkness, those in the penumbra of life, a shadow of their former selves, even for a short time. And I want to talk about their families. When I was a child, the...

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Letter from the voters – veto Target

The BDN May 2 editorial, criticizing Gov. Paul LePage’s 182 vetoes was, for the most part, on target. However, I must take issue with the description of a bill to study health care options in Maine as “transitioning Maine to an entirely government-run health care system.” This mischaracterization of the bill (LD 1345) entirely over-simplifies the issues of concern and serves only to feed right-wing paranoia about...

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Big News! Legislature Approves LD 1345 as Amended

A Resolve to produce 3 design options for creating a universal system of health care in the State On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 the Maine State Senate passed LD 1345. The vote to approve the bill was 20 to 14, along strict partisan lines. Every Republican Senator voted against the resolve “… that all Maine residents have access to and coverage for affordable, quality health care.” This...

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