Regarding “Buying health - not only health care” (July 21): It was heartening to read Sec. Mandy Cohen’s letter on the importance of the social determinants of health, and I hope she will make these a priority in her service to the citizens of North Carolina. North Carolina needs to join health with human services. In my profession of social work, we have long emphasized the importance of the social environment to human well-being, and that applies to everyone. But it is particularly important for those with high vulnerability; for instance, people who live with severe mental illness.
Over the past 15 years, North Carolina has transformed a good community mental health system that served all who needed care to a system that is tightly managed and that is mostly limited to providing services to persons who have Medicaid. There are so many who cannot access the medical and psychosocial care they need, and whose basic needs are often unmet. North Carolina can do better. To Sec. Cohen – I stand ready to help.
Barbara B. Smith, MSW, LCSW
Logic of vote ‘hard to understand’
Regarding “UNC panel votes to bar new clients for civil rights center” (Aug. 2): The decision of the UNC System Board of Governors committee not to allow prospective law students to get actual courtroom experience under supervision is akin to preventing medical students from learning how to treat patients under supervision in order to learn how to be effective clinicians. It is hard for me to understand the logic that makes this a good decision.
I guess logic doesn’t count anymore when you have an agenda to push through no matter the consequences to our educational process.
Jim Goodwin, MD
Tillis’ action ‘mindless acquiescence’
Regarding “Tillis and Burr duck the public on health care debate” (July 21): This may be a time for serious reflection by Sen. Thom Tillis. He has consistently voted against health care for many of his constituents. His completely mindless acquiescence to party leaders really raises questions about his integrity and thoughtfulness.
In addition, he now faces a dilemma in the ongoing saga of Attorney General Sessions. As a conservative, Tillis presumably would like to support Sessions staying in office. Sessions has consistently shown how much he wants use the Justice Department to serve conservative desires on immigration, drug use and minority rights.
However, Sessions also favors much stricter sentencing guidelines, especially for low-level, nonviolent offenses. As I recall, Tillis was very interested in working on criminal justice concerns, including reducing the sentences for many non-violent offenses to help alleviate our staggeringly large prison population. I also recall that he promised he would make progress on these issues or not run for re-election in 2020.