To the Editor:
In the May 12 edition, Dr. Julian Kuffler wrote five well-reasoned paragraphs about lack of access to affordable health care in Maine. I couldn’t agree with him more.
However, he presented his letter as a rationale to vote for Ted Koffman in the upcoming Democratic primary for state senator. The doctor didn’t present anything relating Koffman’s candidacy with the issue of access to health care.
He overlooked that Koffman’s opponent in the primary is a highly trained health care professional who specializes in health policy. She is Moira O’Neill of Surry, who holds both a master’s of public health and a doctorate in nursing from Yale University. After years of clinical practice, O’Neill teaches public policy at the Husson School of Nursing to Maine’s future nurses.
O’Neill is thoroughly versed in the health care issues facing Mainers, starting with the governor’s veto denying 70,000 of our neighbors the health insurance they would have available if Maine followed the lead of most other states, both those with Democratic and Republican governors. Those who have met her or heard her speak know that O’Neill eloquently and passionately addresses the whole range of health issues and how they relate to education, our economy and our environment. We are fortunate to have a candidate with her unique set of credentials, training and experience for this important office.
At a public forum a week after Kuffler’s letter appeared in the Islander, both Koffman and O’Neill addressed an audience in a joint appearance. The contrast couldn’t have been starker. After listening to O’Neill speak about these very issues, Koffman directly conceded that if elected, O’Neill would be an effective legislator in addressing health care issues in Maine. He recognized that O’Neill has far better expertise in these matters and is better equipped to work within the Maine Senate to get results.
That’s why I agree with the case presented by Kuffler for the need for better access to health care, and that’s why I will be voting for Moira O’Neill in the June 14 primary.