It was comical to read Thomas Shields’ letter (Nov. 22) claiming Republicans “deal in facts.” I have made a part-time career rebutting letters he sends because of his lack of fact-based claims.

Shields’ “opinion” is that the “Affordable Care Act” is a poorly structured program. I have spent years trying to teach him opinions are not facts. Here are some facts, easily found online:

• In 2009, the uninsured rate in this country was 15.7 percent. As of September, 2015, 17.6 million Americans were covered under the ACA and the uninsured rate dropped to 9.2 percent.

• Republicans have voted 55 times in the House and some three dozen in the Senate to repeal the ACA, yet they have not produced one single piece of legislation to improve a program Shields “believes” to be poorly structured.

The Keystone oil pipeline proposal, to which Shields refers, would be far from cheap oil.

• The only way for Keystone producers to break even is if the price of oil stays above $44 per barrel.


• Oil from tars sands (such as Keystone would deliver) are the most carbon- intensive and costly to extract from the Earth. It isn’t the pipeline that pollutes, but the extraction methods.

• It takes almost as much oil to produce oil from tar sands as it would produce.

Shields gives few facts to support his letters. Republicans have done little to benefit Americans in the past 15 years. Republicans have proven they no longer possess the ability to govern effectively.

David Marquis, Lewiston

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