K. Johnson: People have a right to health care

Donald Simoneau of Lafayette is lucky (Sun Journal Nov. 14). His friends are planning a benefit for him to help pay his hospital bills. The jars I see on counters seem to be what passes for health care these days.

That is a disgrace.

According to the U.S. Census, a Mainer dies every three days for lack of health care. There are at least 150,000 uninsured Mainers — and more under-insured. Should sick people be left to die or go bankrupt?

If people are entitled to health care, this nation should adopt what every other industrialized country has: single-payer, universal coverage.

There are single-payer systems already. The VA’s Tri Care, Medicare and Medicaid cover almost half the population and are very cost effective. Thousands of Mainers need those affordable services.

Why do we deny to the rest what so many already have? Why fear communism when the VA is run and operated solely by the government? Would anyone deprive their grandparents of Medicare? Why is Medicaid denied to working families who can’t afford medical bills or premiums? The Affordable Care Act is only a tiny step in the right direction, but still leaves people out.

Mainers are used to helping each other. Maine is a small state, like Vermont, and, like Vermont, state officials can create a single-payer system that works.

But first, people must decide that basic health care is a right to be secured equally for everyone.

Karen Johnson, Bath

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Reduce Mainecare, Medicare, etc..eligibility age to zero for all

...and raise taxes to pay for it ...from the one percenters.

Plain and simple.



MARK GRAVEL's picture

Keep raising taxes on the 1%,

Keep raising taxes on the 1%, and they will go Hostess - disappear.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Needing health insurance in Maine is scary.....

I was forty six, I was working my second career. I loved it, then it started. I started getting sick. That was it, no warning, no family history, nothing. It's that simple, in less than six months you go from making between seventy and a hundred thousand dollars a year to twenty five thousand if your lucky. I was lucky, I work for a great company, I had good insurance for both health and disability, to get me to the point of receiving Social Security Disability benefits and Medicare. I say this because a lot of people don't seem to realize how easy it is to become dependent on someone other than yourself for the first time in your life. I hear people all the time saying how they don't need the Government to fall back on. Spending money on this so called safety net is a waste of time, individualism is the only way to go. Well I have a news flash for all the future survivalist's out there. If you woke up tomorrow morning and you couldn't go to work ever again, and your not even close to retirement age yet. Your in trouble. If your planning to survive on your savings, one short stay in the hospital will take care of that, if you need surgery, you'll come out, not only broke, but in debt. Everyone needs health insurance, whether it's Bluecross Blueshield, Medicare, or Mainecare, you need it. Insurance isn't a luxury any more, its a matter of life and death. We live in a state where our governor could care less if anyone has health insurance. Hell, he's trying to take it away from people, he's so out of touch with reality its scary. He is more concerned with politics, than with the peoples well being, and he's not the only one out there. Saving money is great, it looks good on paper,but it doesn't save lives. We need a Governor, who will both strive to insure everyone, and find a way to finance the plan, who will work with the Federal Government to take advantage of anything available.
The bottom line is this, and this is to all those who will disagree with this post. It doesn't matter how old you are, nineteen or ninety, it makes no difference how much you earn. If you woke up tomorrow totally disabled, and you very easily could. If you don't have health insurance that will follow you through a severe illness, your screwed, and it won't take long at all, for you to see, just how bad off you are.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

1. Nice to hear you story

1. Nice to hear you story again.

2. I agree that everyone should buy health insurance, at least a catastrophic illness plan, not forced into an ACA one-size fits all plan.

3. Medicare or Mainecare are not insurance plan you buy. Other people pay for that.

4. The Governor cannot deny the ability of an individual to purchase healthcare insurance. The Governor must limit how much the State spends onMedicare and Mainecare. The reality is that a bottom-line is a reality that must be dealt with.

5. Getting ill is tragic regardless of whether you have healthcare or not. Like I said in my earlier message, there is no free healthcare, so you need to tax everyone, not just the rich, if you want it. It is a big problem if you tax only 5%-10% of the population for these programs.

Lastly, all the times you have repeated your store; you never once share your diagnosis with the reader. Telling the readers your diagnosis builds credibility in your story.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I made it to number three and had to comment...

Someone else doesn't pay for Medicare. I paid into it for thirty five years, and on top of that it costs me another three hundred a month for part B, part D, and supplemental, right out of my check every month.. Thats more than I paid when I had company insurance. If it makes you happy, I have a degenerative Central Nervous System disease, Its called a "Small Fiber Periphial Neuropathy", I got the paper work to prove it. It started about two and a half years after graduating college, again. Like I said before, I'm probably the most educated cripple on my street.......

RONALD RIML's picture

Health 'Insurance' is not Health Care

It's the Protection Racket........

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How is ACA going to address

How is ACA going to address your concerns?

RONALD RIML's picture

ACA obviously isn't the answer I want.

Nor probably the one you do.....

So we both have to suck it up.

MARK GRAVEL's picture


Store - Story

 's picture

Someone is trigger-happy ...

... with his "disagree" finger. What's the problem with correcting a spelling mistake?

RONALD RIML's picture

Welcome to my world.......

I could post "There are seven days in a week" and would 'disagrees' from the usual suspects.........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There is an old saying in the

There is an old saying in the castle. "There are seven day in a week, but seven nights in a row may make a knight weak."

 's picture

That's because, when you post, Ron, ...

... a week seems a lot longer than just seven days.

RONALD RIML's picture

So find a Forum I don't post on.

Your problem is solved......

 's picture

One is enough.

Do you post on other forums? Please keep them to yourself.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

1. “Why do we deny to the

1. “Why do we deny to the rest what so many already have?” This is a simple answer. Unless everyone (even the bottom 47% of federal taxpayers) want to pay much more in taxes, it is not affordable. Countries that have single payer healthcare also have personal income tax rates in the range of 30-50% for all. Are you ready to pay your fair share for single payer healthcare? By the way, the ACA law has very little teeth for controlling healthcare costs.

2. Healthcare is not an intrinsic right like freedom of speech, why? Think of it this way. The right to free speech granted to individual A does not mean you have to remove something from individual B to grant right to individual A. Healthcare on the other hand is not free. For individual A to have healthcare, one must take property from individual B to grant said right to individual A. That is, you mush diminish the rights of someone else. That is not moral in a free society.

3. Lastly, your example of people helping people with donations to pay medical bills works. We help our neighbors with local charity.

 's picture


1. Yes. The ACA is insurance reform not health care reform. But controlling health care costs should be the number one priority of this country.The growth in health care costs is the number one threat to our competitiveness, quality of life, and our position in the world.
2. No. A ridiculous argument. The Bill of Rights is not the list of all human rights. It is only the list of human rights denied to the colonists by the British prior to the Revolution. A better summary of human rights is "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Life is an intrinsic right of any human being; all others vanish with death. And you don't see property in this summary. Health care is the maintenance of life; the means to fulfill this most basic of rights. As such it is a fundamental human right. When some other system or ideology concludes that it is not; it proves that system false and immoral. An old Kantian proposition was that something is moral if everyone does it and the results are good; its good. I think its fairly obvious that if everyone was in good health its good. On the other hand if everyone pursued property without limit or constraint, the results are bad.
3. Ridiculous. I donate a fairly high percentage of my income to charitable organizations because its the right thing to do. But I do not live under the delusion that private charity works. Raising a few thousand dollars to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs does not work.

RONALD RIML's picture

Countries with Universal Health Care spend much less than U.S.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How come Cuba didn't make

How come Cuba didn't make your list? Michael Moore, in his movie, pretty well declared Cuba as having health care second to none.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The parrot is

The parrot is uncharacteristically quiet this auspicious day.

I read where it is against the law to make a profit on the sale of a home in Cuba. That being the case, no one makes home improvements because it does not change the value of their home. Now I know way all the homes are not maintained in Cuba.

Equality at work.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot lays low on

The parrot lays low on Thanksgiving Day. Nervous and jittery all day long. It's the "bird" thing, you know? He claims all birds are cousins and he tends to protest the "slaughter", as he calls it, of all those turkeys. Yes, he's an activist. Ever met a liberal who wasn't?
Cuba; a better place to be coming from than going to.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Slaughter is such a harsh

Slaughter is such a harsh term. Perhaps you should consider all those turkeys ACA patients.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Excellent suggestion.

Excellent suggestion.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Make sure you hide those

Make sure you hide those turkey leftovers from the Parrot.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Strange, you would mention

Strange, you would mention that. He informed me yesterday that turkey was his favorite meat. He must have some crow blood in him. He figured Friday was a good day to "come out of the cage" on his deep dark secret of having been a closet carnivore.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Is “turkey” code word for

Is “turkey” code word for Liberal?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Actually, turkey is too tame,

Actually, turkey is too tame, but this is, after all, a family show.

 's picture


When you're a European-style socialist state and your "defense" expenses are paid in large part by someone else, you have the luxury of managing your GDP in a way that causes a thrill, or something, to run down Ron's leg.

Several countries in that graph are facing a more dangerous "cliff" than we are. Do you really want us to be like Greece? They spend a lot less on healthcare than we do, but they're going bankrupt because of their social programs centered around retiring at 55 or younger, and the Golden Dawn party is exploiting that and any "austerity" measures. It now has around 20 seats in parliament. Sound familiar? Consider Germany in the early 30s ... and consider the party's logo.

Sieg Heil!

RONALD RIML's picture

'Defense Expenses?'

Who, what are we spending 670 Billion to defend ourselves from???

Whatever it is, it didn't work on 9/11......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It's workng, isn't it? Who

It's workng, isn't it? Who has attaced us since 9-11-2001?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You need more data. How do

You need more data. How do they cut costs? What percentage do you attribute to Ins co.?

RONALD RIML's picture

The data is there.....

Get your head out of the sand.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You made the case, so show

You made the case, so show your work.

Lastly, I cannot tell you where I think your head is stuck with being censored.

I’m thinking of a three letter word beginning with a and ending with s.

 's picture


Amen to that!


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