CVS deserves our thanks
I applaud the decision by CVS that it will stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 locations in the U.S., including 296 in Indiana. This is good news for Hoosiers and their families. CVS will phase out sales by Oct. 1.
Ready access to tobacco products is a major cause of tobacco addiction among our youth. Restricting access at a major pharmacy chain will help Indiana lower our high smoking rates.
Today CVS is a health care provider with about 35 partnerships with health systems and health insurers across the country. To expand such partnerships CVS and other pharmacy chains must work in concert with health providers, hospitals, public health partners and health insurers to prevent disease and promote more cost-effective care. Selling tobacco is not consistent with these goals.
The enormous economic cost of tobacco use, which in Indiana is about $4.7 billion annually, including $487 million in our Indiana Medicaid program, requires new thinking and bold action. The CVS decision is a bold, decisive action that will likely spur other pharmacy chains and related business to eliminate tobacco. Americans will benefit from this action for decades to come. As a tireless advocate of tobacco cessation, I think it is admirable to see a corporation place deeds and the health of our communities over profits.
DR. STEPHEN J. JAY Indiana University School of Medicine
Diversity is to be welcomed
Like Matt Elliott (Call for diversity is simple-minded, Feb. 2) I began reading the Journal Gazette as a 12-year-old newspaper carrier. Unlike him, I have rarely disagreed with its editorial page, making my social/economic/political leanings apparent. However, I find that I agree with nearly all of his conclusions, with the possible exception of the phrase simple-minded.
It should be noted that simple-minded could be interpreted in various ways: as elementary in understanding what is racist or sexist, or as stupidity in misunderstanding what is racist or sexist. I believe that Elliott had in mind the first interpretation.
I believe that women in the state legislator would be a good thing for all citizens. Women in general frequently have a different take on matters of the mind and heart. Both mind and heart are central to sound decision-making. Women do this regularly, more so than men, with a wider view of the human condition. That may sound provincial, even parochial, when considering a more pragmatic approach, but pragmatism does not always offer the best answer.
By my calculation, legislators should not be elected by gender or race. Tokenism is a downward spiral.
Rather, the electorate should be spiraling in the opposite direction, looking up. Seeing women there does not mean diversity for diversity sake. It could mean for the sake of all of us.
ROBERT KELLY Fort Wayne
Why no tolerance in Sochi?
The last virtue to go in a depraved society is tolerance. Look around. We tolerate everything.
Why do our homosexual individuals who are visiting in Sochi think they have the freedom to go against Russia’s morals and ethics? Just be quiet. Shush!
That’s what I want to know.
JAYNE STABLER Fort Wayne
Reid responsible for gridlock
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union announcement that he will go it alone and bypass Congress when his favored legislation doesn’t move forward is cause for grave concern and brings into question exactly where the gridlock is in legislative action. The president should look at his own Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, as the main culprit for most of the stalemate.
Passing bills requires collaboration between houses. Some bills never make it to the floor because the Senate majority leader or speaker of the House control the calendar and decide which bills will make it to the floor for debate.
To date, many of the bills Obama attributes to being part of the stalemate never have been scheduled for debate in the Senate. More than 160 bills have been sent by the House to the Senate that Reid has refused to act upon. Many were potential solutions to stemming runaway spending, immigration reforms and modifications to our health care crisis. So instead of bypassing Congress, Obama should prompt Reid to stop the gridlock and allow the process to proceed so healthy debate, compromise and cooperation can be conducted as intended.
RALPH KLINKER Monroeville