Summer is in full swing. Of course that means the temperature is swinging between 55 and 85 degrees and that the weather forecasts are as unreliable as cell phone reception at camp.
One of our family’s favorite summer places is the carousel at OOB. I don’t do all that well spinning in circles, so J and C get the pleasure of the ride and I get to take pictures.
However, I got my fill of spinning as the legislature wound down in mid-July.
Our You’re the Cure advocates, along with those from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; the American Lung Association of the Northeast, the March of Dimes and the Maine Public Health Association worked hard to make Maine’s Medicaid program better able to help support people who want to quit smoking. The good news is that LD 386 passed the Legislature at the very end of June. However, due to a timing glitch, the bill has to sit on Governor LePage’s desk until January. The Governor has expressed that he will allow the law to go into effect without his signature. However, the legislature adjourned before he could do that (he needs 10 days, they gave him 9). It took a week of spinning round-and-round to determine the bill timing, but in the end, it was determined that we have to wait.
So, we wait, along with the thousands of MaineCare smokers who want to quit using tobacco. Surveys show that Maine smokers on MaineCare want to quit smoking and at a much higher rate than those with private insurance. I am glad that we could be a part of making it easier. I am just sorry the Constitution got in the way and that we have to sit and spin until January.
The merry - go - round is a wonderful analogy for Maine''s past Legislative session and the fear is that Maine will spin of its axis with the current Governor at the helm weilding his VETO pen and the weak- kneed members of his party marching blindly in lock-step to prevent a veto over- ride. AHA''s Becky Smith, and the other government relations partners from Cancer, Lung, Maine Medical Assoc., and the Maine Public Health Assoc. and all of their grassroots volunteers are awesome when they team up, which they have been doing successfully for many,many years. Unfortunately, reason does not prevail within the Maine State House, so we volunteer advocates must work very hard contacting our Legislators at every summer parade, fair, and community activity and tell them that we want this merry-go-round to cease spinning out of control and remind them that they work for us! Dennise W.