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Letters: health care, Democratic Party, Leon Sullivan and Mandela

Insurance is only small part of health care

Having spent 50 years promoting access to high quality health care for all Americans, especially some of the most impoverished, I was amused by Perry Bryant's Dec. 29, 2013 celebration decreeing Obamacare most successful and averring my life-long objectives have been realized. If it were only that simple.

Timely access and receipt of quality health services is a reflection of many influences, of which health insurance is one small part. Many of the newly insured had access to health care before Obamacare and it waits to be seen how much various populations will gain or lose upon implementation. For example, where will those newly insured receive care for substance abuse and mental health conditions? A few of the "insurance dollars" might have been better spent developing these and other community treatment resources.

Despite Mr. Bryant's admonition, the "good carpenter" starts with a set of comprehensive blueprints and specifications and progresses to assure a strong foundation that will support the structure and meet the needs of the occupants. Providing a subsidy to homeowners to buy some 2x4s, nails, siding, roofing, and cement blocks does little to assure a home of integrity and endurance. 

Jim Felsen

Great Cacapon

 

Democratic Party shouldn't give in to GOP

I would like to join Dan Cook in his recognition of the contributions of Perry Mann (Sunday Gazette-Mail, Dec. 15, 2013). Perry will be long remembered for his analytical mind and his ability to express his thoughts gently in clear and concise phrases.

I would also like to join Dan in his assessment of West Virginia voters but I will not be quite as lenient as he. I will stop with the "too damned dumb to vote."

My experience in politics has been that reason, reliable and valid information is far outweighed by repetitive lies, insinuations and deliberately planted rumors. How do we effectively counter the behavior of our unethical and unprincipled adversaries?

Being a behaviorist, I know that an aversive stimulus applied within .05 seconds at slightly below the lethal level will result in one trial learning. I also know that a behavioral approach brings changes in behavior quicker than a verbal reasoning approach.

The Democratic Party should be much more specific oriented, assertive, direct and never give an inch until the Republican Party has first given at least an inch.

I am hopeful that the West Virginia Democratic Party will join with teachers and other service workers and direct economic development toward our middle and lower-income classes. Economic stimulus must be broad based and designed to trickle up rather than trickle down.

We all know that individual businesses and corporations do not create jobs. Demand for goods and services creates jobs. Show me a successful corporation that manufactures goods for which there is no demand and I will give you a chocolate covered peanut as a reward. Create demand by enabling the middle and lower classes. Try raising the minimum wage and paying service workers a living wage.

Please remember, block inappropriate behavior by applying an aversive stimulus, then substitute an appropriate behavior and give the organism an appropriate reward.

Bill Morefield

Princeton

 Leon Sullivan deserved recognition editorial

I read your editorial on Nelson Mandela in the Dec. 8 Sunday Gazette-Mail and was dismayed that you did not mention Dr. Leon H. Sullivan. Had it not been for his efforts to convince American corporations (General Motors, etc.) and colleges and universities like Harvard University to cease business transactions with South Africa, who knows what Mandela's legacy would be?

Dr. Sullivan fought hard to focus attention on the conditions of apartheid and developed what became goals for divestment, "The Seven Sullivan Principles" which contributed to the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and improving the economic conditions of black Africans.

After all, Dr. Sullivan was born and reared a stone's throw from the offices of the Gazette and Daily Mail, and many of you daily traverse the street named in his honor, yet you forget his association with his friend, Nelson Mandela.

Elizabeth Scobell

The Villages, Fla.

 


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