Your Kindness Will Never Be Forgotten

The past couple of weeks for us have been, how should I say this, hectic. Bonny and I are safely back home in Maine, and for that we are grateful. The passing of Bonny’s mom and uncle in the same week was somewhat surprising, but in all likelihood, we realize that other families go through similar, if not worse situations on a daily basis. It is a common experience that we all share.  In any event, these last several days have allowed for many hours of reflection.

As we all age, we realize that things like hope, kindness and good cheer do not smooth out the wrinkles, but can keep the heart refreshed. Honored age gives one the authority to ignore authority. You learn to forego your age or at least not dwell on it, to be happy to just be alive to have earned that privilege. If not years to your life, why not life to your years? Our human spirit is remarkably sturdy and resilient, allowing us to get past the hardships as long as we differentiate the little from the big, and find a way to smile through it all. Sometimes when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated. This is not necessarily the way that it has to be, as to lose a dearly loved one is also an opportunity for us to learn.

You learn that you cannot step twice into in the same river and expect things to be the same, for the waters behind you continue to flow. There is no time for stagnation as the flow of change goes on. So, let the past drift away with the flowing waters, but never forget the laughter, the sounds, the joys and the loving memories that you shared with loved ones. Extract the most from those memories. As sadness and pain creep in, realize that sadness and gladness succeed each other, both of which will be followed by spring.

So when the time comes, whether in a storm or calm, let down the sails and join quietly the waves.

On behalf of Bonny and I, we thank all of you for the outpouring of empathy, sympathy and inspiration that you have showered upon us and our family during these difficult times. Your kindness will never be forgotten.


By: raemd2016, July 22, 2016

The Budget And The Bungler

State budgets are complex and fluid. That being said, let’s look at some facts. State expenditures include spending on government salaries, infrastructure, education, public pensions, public assistance, corrections, Medicaid and transportation. Revenues come mainly from tax collections, licensing fees, federal aid and return on investments. In fiscal year 2014, 49.7% of total tax revenue came from sales taxes and gross receipts, with income taxes accounting for 41.5% of total tax collections. Maine had the 3rd largest tax collections per capita in comparison to its neighboring states. Federal aid to Maine in 2013 was approximately $2.8 billion or 35% of the state’s general revenue. State spending in FY 2015 was 7.6%, the 3rd largest among New England states. In FY 2015, Education accounted for 20.5% of expenditures while 34.4% went to Medicaid. Between 2010 and 2014, the share of the state budget spent on Medicaid increased from 28.6% to 34.4%.

Gov LePage’s 2016-2017 biennium budget for FY 2016-2017 included $300 million in tax reductions which would primarily lower top individual and corporate income tax rates and adjusted sales taxes. He also proposed increasing taxes on large nonprofits such as hospitals, colleges & private schools. Fortunately his veto was overridden by the legislature. The Governor’s entrenched ideology not to accept Medicaid Expansion has severely undermined the state’s ability to effectively balance the state budget without undermining its citizens.

Medicaid Expansion would provide needed coverage for 64,000 uninsured Mainers, provide jobs across all work sectors and increase the states revenue base. The federal government pays 63% of the current Medicaid program. It would have paid all of the Medicaid costs during 2014-2016 with the federal share decreasing to 95% in 2017, 90% in 2020, and remaining at that level thereafter. Finally, those corporations who come to the state, receive perks and incentives from the state and then abruptly re-locate, leaving workers and taxpayers high and dry, must be required to pay a severe cost for these grotesque levels of greed. The wealthy and powerful should not have a stranglehold on tax cuts/breaks. Businesses owe their lives to the everyday workers and taxpayers.

In the end, Medicaid Expansion is not just about assisting those who are in the most need of health care. It is also about increasing economic activity, supporting a significant number of new jobs, reducing state spending on State-Funded Health Care for the uninsured, reducing uncompensated and charity care for small and rural hospitals, reducing the costs that are passed on to consumers and businesses and increasing state revenue by increasing job opportunities. More jobs obviously means that more people are employed, leading to higher family incomes. Had expansion been implemented in 2014 and 2016, there would have been an additional $288 million in federal Medicaid funds provided to the state. If we want to increase state revenue and effectively balance the budget in the future, we must reverse the course on which we are now traveling.

And another thing. Only 20.5% spending on Education? Don’t get me started!


Richard A. Evans, MD, Candidate, Maine House of Representatives (120th District)